Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros14Queering German StudiesSuffering and Emancipation

Queering German Studies

Suffering and Emancipation

Tracing “Herstory” through Hysterical Gestures
Aurélie Cachera 


Cet article a pour objectif d’analyser trois planches issues de l’Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière et de les mettre en regard de trois photographies de nu, représentant la danseuse Claire Bauroff, prises par Trude Fleischmann à Vienne en 1925. Le but est de relever les similitudes entre ces deux corpus et la reprise puis transformation des gestes hystériques opérée par Fleischmann et Bauroff. Pour étayer mon analyse, je m’appuierai sur le concept de formule de pathos (Pathosformel) développé par l’historien de l’art Aby Warburg.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

1In this paper I compare photographs of hysterical women taken at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris by male doctors in the 1870s with nude images by Viennese photographer Trude Fleischmann in 1925. I argue that similar gestures in these pictures convey different emotions to the viewer, depending on the context of their emergence. My main argument is based on German art historian Aby Warburg’s Pathosformel (pathos formula; see Warburg, 2012; Didi-Huberman, 2002), namely that different temporal and geographic contexts determine whether the depicted gestures are acts of objectification or emancipation. The idea behind the concept of Pathosformel is that one can create links between different times by analyzing the recurrent motives seen in different pictures or works of art. Warburg’s research mainly focused on the revival of antique forms, particularly during the Renaissance. This theory suggests that human gestures recur across time, but that the emotional charge they convey differs depending on the temporal and cultural contexts. To use a contemporary example: one could see a resemblance in the postures and gestures of the painting Liberty guiding the people (1830) by Delacroix and Stéphane Mahé’s photograph The crayon guiding the people (Lâchasse, 2015). While the painting commemorates the French July Revolution of 1830, the photograph, a widely circulated image in the media after the 2015 terrorist attacks in France, was taken during a march to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Here, each respective image expresses divergent emotions determined by their specific circumstances, even though a very similar posture is depicted (bottom view: right arm stretched towards the sky). In a nutshell: the pathos formula is an emotionally charged visual trope expressed by gestures.

  • 1 Most of Jean-Martin Charcot’s work and his Tuesday Lessons can be found on Jubilothèque, UMPC’s sci (...)

2I have hence chosen to focus on and compare two different types of photographs, taken in different temporal and geographical contexts. Three pictures were taken in Paris at the Salpêtrière at the end of the 19th century and depict three different female patients. These photographs were published in the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière (Regnard, Bourneville, 1877, 1878, 1879-80), a reference work when it comes to the images we have in mind when thinking of hysteria. In these books, resident doctors working with French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot documented every aspect of their female patients’ lives at the hospital, the circumstances of their arrival, but also the way these women behaved and the evolution of their disease. The various volumes contain numerous photographs that circulated in the European press. Rae Beth Gordon’s research has already shown that the hysterical attacks these women suffered furnished the Parisian Cabaret and early film comedy with a new repertoire of movements, tics and gestures (Gordon, 2002; Gordon, 2009). Furthermore, morbid curiosity attracted considerable numbers of Europeans to Charcot’s lectures, the so-called Tuesday Lessons.1 During these lectures, several women under hypnosis performed their fits on request in front of a predominantly male audience (see Didi-Huberman, 2003; Sicard, 2001; Roudinesco, 2014). Thus, the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière and the Tuesday Lessons helped create a distinct collective imagination of hysterical gestures and representations.

  • 2 Biographical information on Fleischmann’s life can be found in Auer, Anna (2001): Fotografie im Ges (...)

3The three other photographs, taken in Vienna by Viennese photographer Trude Fleischmann in the 1920s, show the German dancer Claire Bauroff. Trude Fleischmann was born in Vienna in 1895 to a wealthy Jewish family, and died in Brewster, New York in 1990.2 After studying art history in Paris and photography in Vienna, she interned for a brief time at Madame D’Ora’s studio, before becoming Hermann Schieberth’s apprentice, a photographer specialized in portraits and whose clientele was mostly an artistic one. In 1920, thanks to her family’s financial support, Fleischmann started her own photo studio, which soon became the meeting point for Vienna’s interwar artistic and intellectual scene. Many of its protagonists came to have their picture taken (e.g., Stefan Zweig and Karl Kraus). Wolfgang Kos, director of the Wien Museum, has noted: “Fleischmann was the most renowned, but by no means the only female Viennese photographer who, after WWI, set to work with a self-assured eye in the hitherto male-dominated world of photography” (Holzer et al., 2011: 7). With the Anschluss in 1938, she fled Austria for the United States and burned her archives, only taking 41 negatives with her. Her second career began in 1940, in the heart of Manhattan, where she opened a studio. She continued to take portrait shots, for instance for Albert Einstein, as well as landscape and holiday pictures and fashion photos for Vogue. In 1942, she became an American citizen and only returned to Vienna for a holiday in the 1980s. Fleischmann has gradually been rediscovered since the 1980s. But for the most part, her work remains unknown.

4What I will try to demonstrate is that gestures give insight into the models’ emotions and that they convey different affects to the audience. This implies that the pathos formula serves as an unconscious cultural agent that changes across time and space. This approach allows me to expose the ways in which gesture paradigms shifted between the French Belle Époque and the Viennese interwar eras. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of pictures taken in various contexts can bring to light certain aspects that were hidden until then.

Geneviève and Claire Bauroff: an attempt to reclaim representations of the female body

Fig. 1. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1877, planche XVI © Jubilothèque UPMC

Fig. 2. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1925 © Wien Museum

5The first patient I want to talk about is Geneviève (Fig. 1). Her story is difficult to follow throughout the Photographic Iconography (Regnard, Bourneville, 1877: 50-52); the details about why she was hospitalized are unclear. She was abandoned as a child, placed in a foster family and later became obsessed with the man she worked for as a chambermaid. She started hallucinating about the presence of her master even when he was not there, suffered several miscarriages, and attempted to take her own life on many occasions. She arrived at the Salpêtrière in 1872. By that time, Charcot’s goal was to codify so-called “major hysteria” attacks by patients. To do so, the hospital staff took pictures of their patients at different moments of their attacks. This led to their invention of the four major stages of what they considered to be the “perfect” hysterical fit (Richer, 1881: 188).

6The inscription beneath this photograph says that it was captured during the “epileptoid phase”, the first stage that contained convulsive movements. This close shot focuses on the upper part of Geneviève’s convulsing body and specifically on her throat and hands. Even though one can discover the patient’s name by carefully reading the text, the photograph itself does not reveal her identity. Her head is thrown back into a pillow, while her hands are clenched and paralyzed. Her right hand is on her crotch and her left hand is close to her stomach. The part that is excluded from the frame raises many questions: why are the legs not shown? One possible explanation is that the position of her legs might have had a sexual connotation that was perceived as too disturbing in the 1800s. By looking at this image, the viewer can easily get a sense of the patient’s movements, as the patient threw herself on her bed, probably going from an upright to a horizontal position. Her neck, stretched backwards, conveys this impression, as well as the crumpled sheets and clothes, and her hair, that seems to have just fallen on her left shoulder.

7This picture can be compared to a photograph by Trude Fleischmann (fig.2). In 1925, Fleischmann took a photo series of the naked expressionist dancer Claire Bauroff. “Before World War I, such a libertine portrayal of the denuded body would not have made it into the illustrated press, due to censorship” (Holzer et al., 2011: 115). But in the 1920s, a time characterized by “naturism and ‘Lebensreform’, nude photography s[aw] a boom” (Holzer et al., 2011: 115). Even so, Fleischmann’s photographs created a scandal. The photo series was displayed at the Berliner Varietétheater Admiralspalast to promote Bauroff’s show and was confiscated by the police. This caused a huge controversy in the press and boosted the publicity of both the dancer and the photographer even further (Holzer et al., 2011: 115).

8First, I would like to point out that in contrast to Geneviève’s picture, this photograph was taken in Fleischmann’s studio, an intimate place that contrasts with the Salpêtrière’s large audience. Moreover, Bauroff commissioned Fleischmann to take these nudes of her, whereas no one ever asked the patients for their consent. In fact, Geneviève is even described as resisting attempts to photograph her body (Regnard, Bourneville, 1877: 66).

  • 3 When it comes to the images we most often associate with hysteria in the western world, the “arch o (...)

9Bauroff’s close shot is much more explicit than the patient’s picture, as her bare pubis is in the center, pushed forward by the position of her body that is leaning backwards. This posture recalls of the typical “arch of hysteria”,3 but also of Geneviève’s position in her bed. Claire Bauroff’s overall posture echoes the one at the Salpêtrière. The throat and hand positions are also very similar. Bauroff’s profile is shown, which – contrary to the other picture – identifies the body. Geneviève’s body is instead reduced to the status of an object of medical observation, without identity or subjectivity. Furthermore, the oval frame that confines the image stresses the impression that Geneviève’s body is imprisoned in a closed space that is too small to contain her body. The frame thus symbolizes the imprisonment experienced by the female patients at the Salpêtrière.

10The photograph by Fleischmann has no oval frame and shows the Bauroff’s entire naked body. This does not mean, however, that Fleischmann’s photograph was not subjected to censorship. The reason for the confiscation of this series in Berlin was precisely related to the presentation of her private parts. These should have been covered, according to the custom of the time, “with the usual slips of paper” (Holzer et al., 2011: 116). It is interesting to note, however, that Fleischmann and Bauroff, who were most likely aware of what was perceived to be acceptable in their time, disregarded censorship in two respects. On the one hand, the composition of the image seems to be assumed by both the photographer and the dancer, who thus impose, on anyone who wants to see it, their conception of the photographic representation of a naked female body. On the other hand, Bauroff’s use of this series to promote her Berlin show can be interpreted as an act of disobedience or revolt against the good morals of her time. This self-promotion through images of her bare body may express her desire to shake up the conception of the female nude, by taking it out of a purely pornographic or erotic status and turning it into an artistic performance.

Only a few years before, such a libertine portrayal would have been unthinkable, especially in the work of a female photographer. Now, however, the photos [were] brought before a broad public through the press, yielding international fame for both Trude Fleischmann and Claire Bauroff, who became a fascinating-infamous star of the “nude dance”. (Holzer et al., 2011: 117)

11Moreover, Fleischmann’s spatial arrangements were always thought through, and she sometimes cropped the photos to “direct the viewer’s attention and accentuate the character and postures of the portrayed. Thus, her photographs are said to be both physical studies and psychological glimpses” (Holzer et al., 2011: 14). A different emotion emerges from the photograph depicting Bauroff than that of Salpêtrière photo. What seems to be at stake in Fleischmann’s shots is the assertion of a gendered – but not necessarily sexualized – body. The nude shows the desire to unveil something that has been hidden by several layers of clothing at the Salpêtrière: a female body in poses that have been judged as indecent. But in Fleischmann’s photographs, Claire’s body is shown as it actually was, all sexual objectification set aside. This can be seen as an attempt to reclaim the representation of the female body, liberated from depictions shaped by a male gaze.

Augustine and Claire Bauroff: agency and appropriation

Fig. 3. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1878, planche XXIX © Jubilothèque UPMC

Fig. 4. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1924 © Wien Museum

12The second French patient presented in this paper is Augustine (Fig. 3). She was one of the physicians’ favorite patients because she could perform all four stages of a hysterical attack – that is, the stages that the doctor had identified – perfectly. Her body would convulse, bend backwards several times in a row and then become completely rigid. She was admitted to the hospital in 1875, when she was only 15 years old. Her mother’s lover raped Augustine when she was 13, and one of the consequences of this traumatic event was that she started having frequent convulsive attacks that led to her hospitalization (Regnard, Bourneville, 1878:125-128). As the Photographic Iconography puts it, she “became a woman” at the Salpêtrière because that was where she first started menstruating (Regnard, Bourneville, 1878: 125). Upon her arrival, she was described as very “impressionable”. Therefore, it is safe to say that Augustine had been influenced by the hysterical attacks displayed by the women at the Salpêtrière. During her own fits, she probably unconsciously mimicked the gestures she already had had, thus reassuring the physicians by confirming their concept of hysteria. Indeed, Charcot was the first to differentiate between epileptic seizures and hysterical fits, the main difference being that hysterics did not have any organic lesions. But since before Charcot’s arrival at the Salpêtrière, epileptics and hysterics were locked up together, so that the female hysterics likely mimicked epileptic seizures during their fits, making it difficult to distinguish between them. This is why imitating and being impressionable were then considered as symptoms of hysteria. Augustine herself was most likely influenced by the fits she witnessed, but also by the way she was treated and the expectations the doctors had for her. Didi-Huberman has called Augustine a “masterpiece”, explaining that:

In this figurative and taxonomic manufacture, Augustine was like a pearl, a masterpiece, perfection itself […]. Charcot spoke of her as a “very regular, very classical example,” and Richer went one better, as always, writing that she “is the patient of ours whose plastic poses and attitudes passionnelles have the most regularity.” Notice also that it is Augustine’s face, above all, that illustrates and “synopsizes” the hysterical type in Richer’s grand chart. And Augustine – but we are speaking more of the magnificent and regular series of her poses […] – Augustine was thus the star model for a whole concept of hysteria […]. (Didi-Huberman, 2003: 117)

  • 4 Here, the notion of “agency” is based on the conceptualization which has been proposed by Judith Bu (...)

13This plate shows Augustine in a white shirt in front of a dark background. In contrast to the photograph of Geneviève, Augustine’s figure vividly stands out. The whiteness of her shirt seems to merge with the rest of her body. At the time, she was completely paralyzed on the right side. Her paralysis can be seen in the position of her right leg and her right arm, which are both outstretched in different directions. Her right hand is closed and curved outwards in an unnatural position that is typical of hysterical fits of the French Belle Époque. Here Augustine’s hand is put forward and highlights the fact that she could perform the gestures the doctors thought particularly representative of hysteria. Furthermore, this picture was clearly staged, with the physicians asking her to adopt a specific pose. By indulging in the doctors’ exhibitionist activity, Augustine was not simply a medical object that was being visually dissected. She also demonstrated a certain agency.4 By looking at the spectator, the person looking at the picture is also being watched. This creates a form of reciprocity between the spectator who observes and the alleged object being studied. Augustine’s gaze seems to question the onlookers’ intention, to defy them and diverts their attention away from her paralysis and more towards her individuality. By striking a pose for the doctors, by playing their game and looking into the camera with self-assurance, she retains a certain control over her own body. “The image thus dissimulates the infirmity it was supposed to show” (Didi-Huberman, 2003: 246).

14Concerning Fleischmann’s picture (Fig. 4), I would like to stress that the dancers she photographed were never really in movement, they were simulating the movement in front of the camera. “Most of her dance photographs [were] shot in the studio, where she literally compose[d] the scenes down to the last detail. The dancers d[id] not actually move but simulate[d] the motion for the camera” (Holzer et al., 2011: 80). This medium shot of Claire Bauroff leads the eye to the dancer’s body that stands out against the black background. The eye remains focused on Bauroff’s bare body. Here again, Bauroff’s movements are seemingly impregnated with Augustine’s gestures. Her leg is stretched forward, her hands are contracted. What differs in both pictures is the position of the head: Claire turns her head away from the camera as if she does not want to distract the viewer from focusing on her body and her gestures.  By hiding her face, she loses a part of her identity to some extent. Bauroff steps back to emphasize her body, not her own subjectivity. Her body becomes the sole object of study.

15While Augustine tries to reclaim the staging of her own body by looking fiercely into the camera and straight at the viewer, Bauroff’s identity becomes nearly invisible. Even though similar gestures are depicted, they do not express the same affects. Gestures therefore seem to be a hinge between objectivity and subjectivity, expressing one or the other, depending on the context. While Augustine’s body is suffering from paralysis, Bauroff’s body does not experience pain and tries to convey a female body emancipated from gender stereotypes. It seems that representing a new image of the female body, emancipated from stereotypical gender representations, might have been of particular concern to Fleischmann. This series of nudes taken in the 1920s therefore lends itself to the assumption that the gestures of the Salpêtrière’s hysterics are unconsciously taken up by Bauroff and Fleischmann in a pathos formula. By appropriating gestures that used to testify to a feminine submission to the male gaze, Claire Bauroff nevertheless emancipates herself from this very gaze.

Suzanne and Claire Bauroff: resistance and emancipation

Fig. 5. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1879-80, planche XXXVI © Jubilothèque UPMC

Fig. 6. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1925 © Wien Museum

16Suzanne is the third patient presented in this study (Fig. 5) and the last case of the Photographic Iconography. She was admitted to the hospital in 1879 because of her frequent attacks that had started a year prior to her hospitalization. Unlike Geneviève and Augustine, her story does not contain specific traumatic elements. She was described as a very keen reader, who even recited poems during her hallucinations. Suzanne performed the four stages of the hysterical attack to perfection. Her figures even exceeded the physician’s expectations and she was the only one who could perform the complete arch of hysteria. But one year after her arrival, Suzanne began to resist hypnosis and the whole system of the Salpêtrière’s psychiatric ward. At the end of 1880, Suzanne ran away with another patient (Regnard, Bourneville 1879-1880: 209-210). The first obvious difference of this plate compared to the previous ones is the patient’s attire. The hospital context seems completely erased because Suzanne’s dress and hairdo do not suggest that she is a patient in the hospital, as the darkness of her dress merges with the black background and tends to make her invisible. Her face and hands are the only things that stand out.

17The caption indicates that the moment captured is a moment of catalepsy. Catalepsy is characterized by rigid muscles and fixed postures, regardless of external stimuli. The doctors would put Suzanne under hypnosis and arrange her limbs in the position they wanted to show their audience. They explained that Suzanne’s physiognomy then adapted to the body’s overall posture. But in this particular picture, even though the caption says “catalepsy - declamation”, Suzanne’s mouth is closed. Her arms and hands are slightly stretched forward and seem to present something, but no sound is able to escape from her mouth. One might therefore wonder to what extent this image anticipates her future resistance to medical treatment, resistance that led her to flee from the Salpêtrière. Indeed, her physiognomy does not quite reflect the declamation that is supposed to take place. It seems that by keeping her mouth closed, Suzanne paradoxically testified to her condition as a patient at the Salpêtrière. In fact, the Photographic Iconography contains many details on what the women said during their attacks and on their hallucinations, and gives insights as to what might be the cause of their disease. But Charcot and his colleagues were not interested in what these women had to say. They only wanted to dissect the attacks, and they used their patients as puppets that obediently performed whatever they were told to, in front of large audiences. However, in this three-quarter shot, thanks to the divergence between the caption and her facial expression, Suzanne seems to show that she has been silenced. Furthermore, her gaze is fixed on a point in the distance. In strong contrast to Geneviève and Augustine's contracted bodies, her eyes attract the spectator's eye and seem to give access to her interiority. The viewer might wonder what is going on in her mind. This suggests the possibility of mental movement in an otherwise rigid body.

18By contrast, the image depicting Claire Bauroff (Fig. 6) conveys movement. The couch she is sitting on lightly is covered in black fabric and is thus nearly concealed. This gives the impression of her standing up. Her naked body stands out. Even though the posture of her hands imitates that seen in Suzanne’s picture, this gesture does not bring about the same affect. It seems as if Bauroff is floating and about to move to the right. Unlike Suzanne, her mouth is open and she seems free to express herself physically and vocally. Her head, swung backwards, evokes release and liberation. Bauroff’s slightly curved posture also invokes a serpentine line and serpentinisme and hysteria, which echoed each other and the end of the 19th century (Brogniez, Eidenbenz, Faure-Corton, 2012: 163-164). Bauroff’s body, drawing a wavy line from the head to the right foot, evokes the decorative volutes of late-century Art Nouveau. Moreover, the sinuosity of this overall movement is reminiscent of the movement of a snake, which itself evokes hysterical curvature. To illustrate this parallel between snake and hysteria, Céline Eidenbenz refers to a poster of Jane Avril by Toulouse-Lautrec, on which the French dancer’s body is encircled by a snake (Brogniez, Eidenbenz, Faure-Corton, 2012: 164). It can thus be argued that the paradigm shifts which occurred between the Belle Époque and the interwar years are reflected by the fact that gestures that once represented a suffering body were subsequently used to express women’s growing emancipation, through the appropriation of postures that had once imprisoned their bodies.

19Moreover, the appropriation of former gestures also offers, by the way they are transformed and performed, the possibility for the spectator to question traditional gender characteristics. It seems that this image shows less evidence of Bauroff’s feminine characteristics. Contrary to the previous photographs, her pubis does not stand out, her breast is slightly covered by the shadow of her right arm and her hair merges with the dark background. What’s left is a thoroughly fit body. The usual gender characteristics gradually fade in the face of this muscular, almost androgynous body. Could this be a sign of “gender trouble”? This photograph casts doubt on the model’s gender expression, reflecting both masculine and feminine characteristics. The fashionable androgyny of the Viennese interwar era, from men’s clothes to Bubikopf, supports this argument. Even more so because Bauroff’s Bubikopf and her muscular body type, which the press often called “masculine”, were celebrated as the perfect incarnation of the Neue Frau (see Czapla, 2015: 121). The reincarnation of hysterical gestures hence questions the traditional gender characteristics and seems to be linked with the concept of gender, because “rather than seeking to repair the historical record by adding women’s experiences and perceptions, gender theory challenges basic disciplinary paradigms and questions the fundamental assumptions of the field” (Showalter, 1993: 288). As Judith Butler explains, the body – and in our case the gestures that it performs – “is not merely a matter but a continual and incessant materializing of possibilities” (Butler, 1988: 521). But as with the pathos formula, the body is also “both conditioned and circumscribed by historical convention. In other words, the body is a historical situation, […] and is a manner of doing, dramatizing, and reproducing a historical situation” (Butler, 1988: 521). It is therefore not surprising that, in the 1920s, Bauroff and Fleischmann took up hysterical gestures seen in the past and transformed them. Indeed, they were part of a context in which the questioning of the difference between the sexes and the emancipation of women were transforming Viennese society (see Weininger, 1903; Le Rider, 1990). The historical period in which the photographer and her model were immersed was particularly suitable to this kind of questioning and experimentation, as shown by the new androgynous image of the Neue Frau.

20In conclusion, Bauroff’s interwar reincarnation of the same gestures demonstrate agency as Fleischmann’s photographs represent a body that wants to be freed from the male gaze. These photographs show the increasing emancipation that women enjoyed. Moreover, while hysterical gestures were predominantly seen as feminine gestures during the Belle Époque, Fleischmann’s photographs open up a conversation on gender binarism.

Haut de page


Auer, Anna (2001): Fotografie im Gespräch, Passau.

Brogniez, Laurence, Céline Eidenbenz et Julien Faure-Corton (2012): Pulsion(s). Art et déraison, cat. exp. Namur, Musée Félicien Rops, Les mot de l’hysterie.: De la Salpêtrière au serpentinisme, 91-169.

Butler, Judith (1988): Theater Journal, Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory, 519-531.

Butler, Judith (2010): Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York & London.

Czapla, Ralf Georg (2015): Die ungleichen Geschwister : der Unternehmer Friedrich Baur und die Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, München.

Didi-Huberman, Georges (2002): L’image survivante: histoire de l’art et temps des fantômes selon Aby Warburg, Paris.

Didi-Huberman, Georges (2003): Invention of Hysteria. Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière, Cambridge & London.

Gordon, Rae Beth (2002): Why the French Love Jerry Lewis: From Cabaret to Early Cinema, Stanford.

Gordon, Rae Beth (2009): Dances with Darwin, 1875–1910: Vernacular Modernity in France, Farnham.

Holzer, Anton et al. (2011): Der selbstbewusste Blick – A Self-Assured Eye, Ostfildern.

Lachasse, Jérôme (2015): Le Figaro, Qui est Stéphane Mahé, l’auteur du « crayon guidant le peuple » ? [en ligne], consulté le 01.01.21. URL :

Le Rider, Jacques (1990): Modernité viennoise et crises de l’identité, Paris.

Regnard, Paul et Désiré Magloire Bourneville (1877): Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière, Paris.

Regnard, Paul et Désiré Magloire Bourneville (1878): Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière, Paris.

Regnard, Paul et Désiré Magloire Bourneville (1879-80): Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière, Paris.

Richer, Paul (1881): Etudes cliniques sur l’hystéro-épilepsie ou grande hystérie, Paris.

Roudinesco, Élisabeth (2014): Sigmund Freud en son temps et dans le nôtre, Paris.

Schreiber, Hans (1995): Trude Fleischmann Fotografin in Wien (1918-1938), Wien.

Showalter, Elaine (1993): Hysteria, Feminism, Gender, Berkeley.

Sicard, Monique (2001): Communication & Langages, La femme hystérique: émergence d’une représentation, 35-49.

Warburg, Aby (2012): L’Atlas Mnémosyne, Paris.

Weininger, Otto (1903): Geschlecht und Charakter: Eine prinzipielle Untersuchung, Wien & Leipzig.

Haut de page


1 Most of Jean-Martin Charcot’s work and his Tuesday Lessons can be found on Jubilothèque, UMPC’s scientific digital library. [Online] Last visited on January 4th, 2021.

2 Biographical information on Fleischmann’s life can be found in Auer, Anna (2001): Fotografie im Gespräch, Passau. Holzer, Anton et al. (2011): Der selbstbewusste Blick – A Self-Assured Eye, Ostfildern. Schreiber, Hans (1995): Trude Fleischmann Fotografin in Wien (1918-1938), Wien.

3 When it comes to the images we most often associate with hysteria in the western world, the “arch of hysteria” – showing a curved body leaning backward (usually on a bed) – most certainly comes to mind first. See Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture Arch of Hysteria (1993).

4 Here, the notion of “agency” is based on the conceptualization which has been proposed by Judith Butler in Gender Trouble: “ For that masculine subject of desire, trouble became a scandal with the sudden intrusion, the unanticipated agency, of a female ‘object’ who inexplicably returns the glance, reverses the gaze, and contests the place and authority of the masculine position” (Butler, 2010: XXX) And: “In a sense, all signification takes place within the orbit of the compulsion to repeat; ‘agency,’ then, is to be located within the possibility of a variation on that repetition. (Butler, 2010: 198).

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1877, planche XVI © Jubilothèque UPMC
Fichier image/jpeg, 46k
Légende Fig. 2. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1925 © Wien Museum
Fichier image/png, 277k
Légende Fig. 3. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1878, planche XXIX © Jubilothèque UPMC
Fichier image/jpeg, 359k
Légende Fig. 4. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1924 © Wien Museum
Fichier image/png, 433k
Légende Fig. 5. P. Regnard and D. M. Bourneville, Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (service de M. Charcot), Paris, aux bureaux du « Progrès médical », 1879-80, planche XXXVI © Jubilothèque UPMC
Fichier image/jpeg, 53k
Légende Fig. 6. Trude Fleischmann, Aktstudie der Tänzerin Claire Bauroff, Vienne, 1925 © Wien Museum
Fichier image/png, 502k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Aurélie Cachera , « Suffering and Emancipation »Trajectoires [En ligne], 14 | 2021, mis en ligne le 01 juillet 2021, consulté le 31 mars 2023. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Aurélie Cachera 

Aurélie Cachera holds a PhD in German Studies and an MD in Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology. She is currently teaching (as an ATER) at Université de Rouen Normandie

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur


Creative Commons - Attribution - Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale - Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search