"Once in a Republic Can It Be Proved That Science Has No Sex": Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska (1829-1902) and the Multiple Meanings of Science in the Nineteenth-Century United States
- Journal of Women's History
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 1999
- pp. 121-142
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This article looks at the life and work of Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska, one of the most prominent female physicians in the nineteenth-century United States. She is best known among historians of medicine as an advocate of science and a critic of sentimentality at a time when most women argued that their sentimental nature legitimized their entry into the medical field. Born in Berlin in 1829, Zakrzewska received her M.D. in 1856 from Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio. Six years later, she founded the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, one of a handful of all-female institutions that offered clinical training to women. To understand the roots of Zakrzewska's unusual stance on science and sentimentality, this article argues for the necessity of abandoning a dichotomy scholars often have created between femininity, subjectivity, and morality, on the one hand, and masculinity, objectivity, and science, on the other.