Electricity and the kinds of instruments, practices and skills that defined it were important resources for managing the body throughout the Victorian period. Late Victorian medical electricians differed vociferously over the vexed question of the relationship between the bodies they treated and the kinds of skills and practices needed for such treatment. This paper suggests that arguments about how to treat the body through electricity were also arguments about what the body was. Marginal medical men trying to carve out careers for themselves by turning to medical electricity redefined the body so that it became subject to their discipline and their technologies. To some degree at least, our own contemporary perception of how Victorians viewed their own bodies as a source of sexual danger in need of careful and rigorous discipline is the outcome of nineteenth-century medical electricians' efforts to define the body in such a way that it could become subject to electrical intervention.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Social History of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- medical electricity
- medical instruments