Motherhood, Medicine and Magazines in Interwar Vienna: The Case of Die Mutter (The Mother, 1924–1926)

Article Summary by Alys X. George

Whether we admit it or not, these days we all rely on “Doctor Google” for information about our bodies, health, and medical issues. But what did people do in the past? This article investigates how Austrian women in the 1920s accessed medical knowledge about (impending) motherhood. A grassroots network of magazines produced by women, for women, assisted mothers and mothers-to-be in their quest for medically sound, expert information—across social, political, and cultural lines. One of these periodicals, headquartered in Vienna and published between 1924 and 1926, was Die Mutter: Halbmonatsschrift für alle Fragen der Schwangerschaft, Säuglingshygiene und Kindererziehung (The Mother: A Biweekly Magazine for All Questions about Pregnancy, Infant Hygiene, and Child-Rearing), founded and published by Gina Kaus, a bestselling fiction writer.

 

Portrait of Alys X. GeorgeAlys X. George is Assistant Professor of German Studies at Stanford University and the 2024 City of Vienna Fellow at the ifk International Research Center for Cultural Studies/University of Art and Design Linz. An award-winning researcher and teacher, George is the author of The Naked Truth: Viennese Modernism and the Body (University of Chicago Press, 2020), which received the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures and the German Studies Association’s Best Book Prize in Literature and Cultural Studies.

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