Tending the Student Body: Youth, Health, and the Modern University

By Catherine Gidney

© 2015

In the early twentieth century, university administrators and educators regarded bodily health as a marker of an individual’s moral and mental strength and as a measure of national vitality. Beset by social anxieties about the physical and moral health of their students, they introduced compulsory health services and physical education programs in order to shape their students’ character. Tending the Student Body examines the development of these health programs at Canadian universities and the transformation of their goals over the first half of the twentieth century from fostering moral character to promoting individualism, self-realization, and mental health.

Drawing on extensive records from Canadian universities, Catherine Gidney examines the gender and class dynamics of these programs, their relationship to changes in medical and intellectual thought, and their contribution to ideas about the nature and fulfilment of the self. Her research will be of interest to historians of medicine, gender, sport, and higher education.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003761

  • PUBLISHED JAN 2015

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    Regular Price: $36.95

    ISBN 9781442615960
  • PUBLISHED JAN 2015

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    ISBN 9781442647879
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2015

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    Regular Price: $36.95

Quick Overview

Tending the Student Body examines the development of health programs at Canadian universities and the transformation of their goals over the first half of the twentieth century from fostering moral character to promoting individualism, self-realization, and mental health.

Tending the Student Body: Youth, Health, and the Modern University

By Catherine Gidney

© 2015

In the early twentieth century, university administrators and educators regarded bodily health as a marker of an individual’s moral and mental strength and as a measure of national vitality. Beset by social anxieties about the physical and moral health of their students, they introduced compulsory health services and physical education programs in order to shape their students’ character. Tending the Student Body examines the development of these health programs at Canadian universities and the transformation of their goals over the first half of the twentieth century from fostering moral character to promoting individualism, self-realization, and mental health.

Drawing on extensive records from Canadian universities, Catherine Gidney examines the gender and class dynamics of these programs, their relationship to changes in medical and intellectual thought, and their contribution to ideas about the nature and fulfilment of the self. Her research will be of interest to historians of medicine, gender, sport, and higher education.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Gidney’s book will make a good resource for teaching due to her focused writing style and its fascinating look into student life in the past.’


    Jane Nicholas
    Acadiensis vol 44:02:2015

    ‘In this excellent new study of Canadian higher education, Catherine Gidney explores the origins of campus health facilities and athletic programs, services that are now an expected part of undergraduate program.’


    Sara Z. Burke
    Canadian Historical Review vol 96:04:2015

    ‘Catherine Gidney has deftly analyzed an impressive amount of previously unexamined archival material to support her findings with conviction…. This study effectively highlights the ongoing dialectic between school and society.’


    Cynthia Comacchio
    History of Education vol 45:06:2016

    ‘Gidney does an excellent job connecting her discussion of specific health services and physical education programs to the larger societal developments occurring throughout the first half of the twentieth century.’


    Roberta Lexier
    Urban History Review vol 44: 1-2:2015

    ‘This fine piece of work provides new insights into the way the nature and culture of life in Canadian universities changed during the first sixty years of the twentieth century.’


    Donald Fisher
    BC Studies February 2017

    ‘This book provides a solid foundation for other scholars who wish to do more detailed studies of the history of student health and physical education in Canadian colleges and universities.’


    Heather Munro Prescott
    Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth vol10:01:2017

    Tending the Student Body establishes Catherine Gidney as a leading historian of higher education in Canada. This book makes a significant contribution to the history of university life and to the social history of medicine and health in the world of Canadian higher education.”
    Paul Axelrod, Faculty of Education, York University

    Tending the Student Body is a stimulating and insightful read that illustrates the complex ways in which agency and structure worked together to affect social, cultural, and academic discourses about the function of the student body and the mind. Gidney’s research in the archives and her command of the extensive interdisciplinary literature are thorough and deep.”
    Lisa Panayotidis, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary
  • Author Information

    Catherine Gidney is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at St. Thomas University.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction
    1. Institutional Development of Student Health Programs
    2. Ailments and Epidemics
    3. Physical Culture and Character Formation
    4. Health in Home and Body
    5. Female Students’ Health and the Creation of New Occupational Opportunities for Women
    6. Changing Contexts and Programs, 1930s to 1960s
    7. Shifting Health Priorities: Tuberculosis and Mental Health
    8. From Character to Personality: Changing Visions of Citizenship, 1940s to 1960s
    Conclusion

    Appendix A: Physical Training at the University of Toronto