This study examines the way the French surgeon Jean-Baptiste Antoine Bénézet Pamard (1763-1827) viewed and presented himself as a learned man in the intellectual community of the early nineteenth century. It will argue that Pamard, in constructing an identity of a learned man, used both traditional and contemporary components, giving his own „Romantic‟ interpretation to the eighteenth-century learned tradition. By looking at his correspondence and publications, this study will show how Pamard, a surgeon in Avignon, positioned himself as a „local health expert‟, who translated his scientific expertise to a broad audience, in Avignon‟s urban community. Such a position gained him access to the city‟s learned circles in which he soon established himself by showing the literary qualities he possessed in addition to his scientific expertise. In doing so, Pamard skilfully adapted his work to fit the expectations of various audiences.
Pamard‟s self-image as a learned man was also „Romantic‟ because of the place he gave to emotions in his professional activities. Pamard, for example, not only shared the joys and sorrows of family life with his correspondents – as was typical of eighteenth-century friendly relations between learned men – but also felt the need to deal with them more privately through reflections in his personal notebook, showing the self-awareness of the „Romantic‟ generation. Moreover, his notebook, as a site of both scientific research and identity construction, shows the impact of these reflections upon his medical observations and thus demonstrates the intertwinement of self-reflection and scientific research in the Romantic period.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. August 2010. Major: History of science, technology & medicine. Advisor: Jennifer Gunn. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 95 pages.
Constructing identity in the Romantic Age: the medical writings of Jean-Baptiste Antoine Bénézet Pamard (1763-1827).
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