AWE (A Woman’s Experience)


midwives, midwifery, literary rhetoric, attitudes towards women, seventeenth century childbirth


Nowhere are the effects of that rhetoric on the practice of midwifery more evident than in the reactionary works of midwives themselves, such as those of Justine Siegemund and Jane Sharp in the seventeenth century. This paper will explore how the strategies and allusions used in Siegemund's The Court Midwife of the Electorate Brandenburg and Sharp's Midwives Book allow for the conclusion that gendered literary rhetoric was the primary cause of the shift from female to male authority in the practice of midwifery.


Mei Lund grew up in San Diego, California and currently lives in Provo with her husband, John. As a junior studying Interdisciplinary Humanities, her academic interests lie in studying human cultures through the arts. Her outside interests include spending time with friends and family, reading, choral singing, and trying not to kill her basil plant (again).