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Jessica Hamel-Akré

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow

Jessica is a literary historian of early modern and eighteenth-century Britain. Her work considers gender, appetite control, and the conceptualization of restrictive eating as a modern ideal. Jessica is especially interested in the influence of polite rational cultures on women's spiritual practices or supernatural explanations of food refusal. She is also interested in the philosophy of early dietary medicine and the construction of modern moral standards of women’s abstinence from food through popular literature and religious writing, in addition to medical theories.

Her project 'Possession, Dietary Medicine, and Women's Food Refusal' is funded by a two-year SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. She joined HPS after completing a PhD, funded by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier scholarship, in English Studies at the Université de Montréal. Jessica previously served as a School of Literature, Arts and Media visiting research fellow in English at the University of Sydney.

Jessica is a Postdoctoral Affiliate of Newnham College.

Research interests

British medicine and literature in the long eighteenth century; philosophy and social history of women's appetite control; medicine and religion; history of feminist thought 

Jessica Hamel-Akré