Bodies in Genres of Practice: Johann Ulrich Bilguer’s Fight to Reduce Field Amputations

Abstract

This paper examines Johann Ulrich Bilguer’s 1761 dissertation on the inutility of amputation practices, examining reasons for its influence despite its nonconformance to genre expectations. I argue that Bilguer’s narratives of patient suffering, his rhetorical likening of surgeons to soldiers, and his attention to the horrific experiences of war surgeons all contribute to the dissertation’s wide impact. Ultimately, the dissertation offers an example of affective rhetorics employed during the Enlightenment, demonstrating how bodies and environments—those “ambient rhetorics” made visible in a text—can contribute to an analysis of genre deviations and widen the scope of genre studies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Abel, Marco, Nora M. Alter, Antje Ascheid, Hester Baer, Steve Choe, Paul Cooke, Gerd Gemünden, et al. 2013. “Ironizing Identity: The German Crime Genre and the Edgar Wallace Production Trend of the 1960s.” In Generic Histories of German Cinema and its Deviations, edited by Jaimey Fisher, 133-155. Rochester: Boydell and Brewer.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Altman, Janet Gurkin. 1982. Epistolarity: Approaches to a Form. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Altman, Rick. 2009. “A Semantic/Syntactic Theory of Genre.” In Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, 7th ed., edited by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, 6-17. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Aristotle. 2006. On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Translated by George A. Kennedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bhatia, Vijay K. 2012. “Critical Reflections on Genre Analysis.” Iberica 24 (24): 17-28.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bilguer, Johann U. 1764. A Dissertation on the Inutility of Amputations. Project Gutenberg. Accessed October 10, 2014. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/44089.

  8. Brouwer, Aart. 2010. “Book Review of Ernst von Mansfeld (1580-1626), Grafensohn, Söldnerführer, Kriegsunternehmer gegen Habsburg im Dreißigjährigen Krieg, by Walter Krüssmann.” In Art of Warre, edited by Walter Krussman. Accessed November 2, 2014. https://crossfireamersfoort.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/book-review-ernst-von-mansfeld-1580-1626-by-walter-krussmann/.

  9. Brown, Michael. 2014. “A Botched Job: Surgery and the Politics of Pain” Remedia, July issue. Accessed November 20, 2014. http://remedianetwork.net/2014/07/01/a-botched-job-surgery-and-the-politics-of-pain/.

  10. Burke, Kenneth. 1969. A Rhetoric of Motives. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Crable, Brian. 2003. “Symbolizing Motion: Burke’s Dialectic and Rhetoric of the Body.” Rhetoric Review 22 (2): 123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cunningham, Andrew. 2010. The Anatomist anatomis’d: An Experimental Discipline in Enlightenment Europe. Farnham: Ashgate.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Dupont, G. 1975. “Interview with Foucault.” Translated by John Johnston, Cinématographe, 16 (Summer): 3-5.

  14. Ellis, Harold. 2002. A History of Surgery. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Engelstein, Stefani. 2000. “Out on a Limb: Military Medicine, Heirich von Kleist, and the Disarticulated Body.” German Studies Review 23 (2): 225-244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Foucault, Michel. 2003. Birth of the Clinic: An Archeology of Medical Perception. New York: Routledge Classics.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Foucault, Michel. 1998. Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology. ed. James D. Faubian, Translated by Robert Hurley. New York: The New Press, pp. 223-227.

  18. Gabriel, Richard A. and Karen S. Metz. 1992. A History of Military Medicine, Volume II: From the Renaissance through Modern Times. New York: Greenwood Press.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Giddens, Anthony. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Oxford: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Gross, Alan G., Joseph E. Harmon, and Michael S. Reidy. 2002. Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17 th Century to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Gruber, David. 2014. “The (digital) Majesty of all under Heaven: Affective Constitutive Rhetoric at the Hong Kong Museum of History’s Terracotta Warrior Exhibition,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 44 (2):148-167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hawhee, Debra. 2010. Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hawhee, Debra and Cory Holding. 2010. “Case Studies in Material Rhetoric: Joseph Priestley and Gilbert Austin.” Rhetorica 28 (3): 261-289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hernigou, Philippe. 2013. “Ambroise Paré II: Paré’s Contributions to Amputation and Ligature.” International Orthopedic 37 (4): 769–772.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Jones, Ellis, W.P. 1960. “The Life and Works of Guihelmus Fabricus Hildanus (1560-I634),” Medical History 4 (3):195-209.

  26. Jordan, John W. 2009. “Reshaping the ‘Pillow Angel’: Plastic Bodies and the Rhetoric of Normal Surgical Solutions,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 95 (1): 20-42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Kahan, Michele B. 2012. “The Rhetoric of Pain: Religious Convulsions and Miraculous Healings in the Jansenist Parish of Saint Medard, Paris (1727-1732).” At the Interface / Probing the Boundaries 84:107-122.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Kirkup, John. 1995. “Perceptions of Amputation before and after Gunpowder.” Vesalius 1 (2): 56.

    Google Scholar 

  29. -----. 2007. A History of Limb Amputation. London: Springer.

  30. Lanham, Richard. 2003. Analyzing Prose. 2nd ed. London: Continuum.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Lee, Caroline, Keith M. Porter, and Timothy J. Hodgetts. 2007. “Tourniquet use in the Civilian Prehospital Setting.” Emergency Medicine Journal 24 (8): 584-587.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Marback, Richard. 2008. “Unclenching the Fist: Embodying Rhetoric and Giving Objects their Due.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 38 (1): 46-65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Mantin, Peter and Richard Pulley. 1996. Medicine through the Ages. Oxford: Nelson Thornes Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Mavorforou, Anna, Stylianos Koutsias, F. Fafoulakis, Ioannis Balogiannis, G. Stamatiou, A.D. Giannoukas. 2007. “The Evolution of Lower Limb Amputation through the Ages. Historical Note.” International Angiology 26 (4): 385-389.

    Google Scholar 

  35. McCullough, Laurence B. 1998. “John Gregory and the Invention of Professional Medical Ethics.” Hingham: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  36. McCallum, Jack E. 2008. Military Medicine: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

    Google Scholar 

  37. “Medicinal Councels or Advices, Written originally in French by Theodor Turquet de Mayerne 1667.” Translated by Thomas Sherley. London: Ponder.

  38. Miller, Carolyn. 1984. “Genre as Social Action.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 70 (2): 151-167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. -----. 2010. “Should we name the tools?: Concealing and Revealing the Art of Rhetoric.” In The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen-scholars and Civic Engagement, edited by John M. Ackerman and David J. Coogan, 19-38. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

  40. Miller, Carolyn. and Jeannie Fahnestock. 2013. “Genres in Scientific and Technical Rhetoric.” POROI 9 (1), 1-4.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Moulin de, Daniel., 1987. A History of Surgery. Dordrect: Springer Science and Business Media.

  42. Murray, Joddy. 2009. Non-Discursive Rhetoric: Image and Affect in Multimodal Composition. Albany: SUNY Press.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Nissen, Trygve. and Rolf Wynn. 2014. “The History of the Case Report: a Selective Review.” The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 5 (4): 1-5.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Perelman, Chaim. 1990. The Realm of Rhetoric. South Bend: The University of Notre Dame Press.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Piorno, Pilar E. 2012. An Example of Genre Shift in the Medicinal Product Information Genre System.” Linguistica Antverpiensa 11:167-187.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Pruchnic, Jeff. 2006. “Rhetoric, Cybernetics, and the Work of the Body in Burke’s Body of Work.” Rhetoric Review 25 (3): 275-296.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Rice, Jenny E. 2008. “The New New: Making the Case for Critical Affect Studies.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 94 (2): 200-212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Richey, Stephen L. 2007. “Tourniquets for the Control of Traumatic Hemorrhage: A Review of the Literature,” World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2 (Oct.): 28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Rickert, Thomas. 2013. Ambient Rhetorics: The Attunements of Rhetorical Being. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Sharp, Samuel. 1754. Critical Inquiry into the Present State of Surgery. 3rd ed. London: J. and R. Tonson. Accessed November 20, 2014. https://archive.org/details/acriticalenquir00shargoog.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Spafford, Marleen M., Catherine F. Schryer, Marcellina Mian, and Lorelei Lingard. 2006. “Look Who’s Talking Teaching and Learning using the Genre of Medical Case Presentations.” Journal of Business & Technical Communication 20 (2): 121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Spinuzzi, Clay. 2002. “Modeling Genre Ecologies.” In SIGDOC ’02 Proceedings of the 20th Annual International Conference on Computer Documentation in Toronto, Canada, October 20-23, 200.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Spinuzzi, Clay and Mark Zachry. 2000. “Genre Ecologies: An Open-system Approach to Understanding and Constructing Documentation.” Journal of Computer Documentation 24 (3): 169-181.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Tachino, Tosh. 2012. “Theorizing Uptake and Genre Mobilization: A case for Intermediary Genre.” Written Communication 29 (4): 455-476.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Tering, Arvo. 2010. “The Dissertations of Doctors of Medicine active in Estland, Livland and Courland, Defended at European Universities in the Eighteenth Century.” Ajalooline Ajakiri 3/4 (133/134): 367–402.

  56. Trevor-Roper, Hugh. 2006. Europe’s Physician: The various life of Sir Theodore de Mayern. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Wells, Justine. 2014. “Book review: ‘Ambient Rhetorics: Attunements of Rhetorical Being.’” Environmental Communication 8 (3): 406-408.

  58. Yanoff, Karin L. 1988. "The Rhetoric of Medical Discourse: An Analysis of the Major Genres." Dissertations, University of Pennsylvania Paper AAI8824810. http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8824810.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David R. Gruber.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gruber, D.R. Bodies in Genres of Practice: Johann Ulrich Bilguer’s Fight to Reduce Field Amputations. J Med Humanit 40, 417–435 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-017-9492-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ambient
  • Bodies
  • Environments
  • Genre
  • Medical
  • Surgery