On this basis, I have formulated the following ideas:
- a study of ‘hysterical’ patients of the 19th century to identify and further explore those with gynaecological co-morbidities
- a qualitative analysis comparing the lived experiences of 19th-century ‘hysterical’ patients manifesting gynaecological symptoms and those of present-day endometriosis sufferers
- a historical investigation over several millennia designed to find evidence in support of the Nezhat theories.
The amount of new primary material which I obtained from the von Lieben family archive would in itself be sufficient for a number of researchers. Added to this is the substantial bank of archival information which I have built up in the course of my own research. I would like therefore to offer the above ideas as a ‘provocation’ to stimulate further investigation. I will not be undertaking any more substantial academic activity myself, but I would be happy to act as a facilitator for others, putting my knowledge and resources at their disposal, and passing the baton on to the next generation of researchers.
My methods and findings are summarised in the Abstract of my doctoral thesis, In her own words: Exploring the subjectivity of Freud’s ‘teacher’ Anna von Lieben. The thesis itself can be accessed at https://theses.gla.ac.uk/82795/
If you would like further information, or to engage in some exploratory discussion, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Nezhat, C., Nezhat, F., & Nezhat, C. (2012). Endometriosis: Ancient disease, ancient treatments. Fertility and Sterility, 98(6), 1-62.