History of Medicine
Join Our Mailing list
Stay up -to-date with the latest at the National Library of Medicine.Close
The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper" explores how, in the late 19th century, medical and scientific experts drew on notions of female weakness to justify inequality between the sexes. During a time when women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life, artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story titled "The Yellow Wall-Paper." The tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions that restricted women's professional and creative opportunities.
The online exhibition features a range of resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school courses, a higher education module developed by a scholar working in the discipline for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors, educational online activities, and additional resources.
Beginning in October 2009, Literature of Prescription became available as a traveling exhibition free of charge to interested libraries and cultural centers. Please go to Book a Traveling Exhibition for more information.