Fedunkiw on Diaries as a Historical Source
I attended a lively and effervescent talk by Marianne P. Fedunkiw at the History of health and Medicine Unit. Dr. Fedunkiw presented her work with the diary/scrapbook of Dr. Dorothea Maude, a rather atypical English medical doctor during the early twentieth century. Dr. Maude was active in the Balkan Wars of 1912-14 and then during the First World War in this same area. The talk today was on the topic of the challenges that arise from using diaries as a historical source.
The product of Dr, Fedunkiw’s work in this area is a recent article: “Women Physicians Serving in Serbia, 1915-17: The Story of Dorothea Maude” McMaster University Medical Journal, 4:1, 2007, 53-57.
There is a very important secondary story in the exploits of Dorothea Maude and that is the ability of a female doctor to be able to practise in a place such as Serbia during wartime as the extraordinary circumstances relaxed gender and class biases that prevent ed her from carrying out the same activities in official British corps.