the yellow wallpaper

'The Yellow Wallpaper' Exhibit Includes Discussion on PPD

The Medical University of South Carolina’s Waring Historical Library and Humanities Committee will host the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health (NLM/NIH) traveling exhibit, “Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’” from Aug. 26 to Oct. 6 in the MUSC Colbert Education Center and Library. In the late 19th century, women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life while medical and scientific experts drew on notions of female weakness to justify inequality between the sexes. Artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story titled, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The famous tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and social conventions restricting women's professional and creative opportunities.

“This exhibit offers us opportunities not only to learn about gender inequalities of the late 19th century, but also to reexamine current notions of health and health care that may contribute to disparities and inequalities for various populations,” said Lisa Kerr, Ph.D., associate professor and MUSC Humanities Committee member. “The humanities make these conversations engaging and accessible; they invite us to see the world we think we know so well in a new light.”

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Waring Historical Library and MUSC Humanities Committee will host an opening reception featuring the exhibit, “The Yellow Wallpaper” a meeting of the MUSC Humanities Committee Book Club; a panel discussion about postpartum depression from clinical, literary, and personal perspectives; and a closing reception featuring a lecture by a noted Gilman scholar, Jane Thrailkill, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill associate professor in English and Comparative Literature. The schedule is as follows:

  • Aug. 26 to Oct. 6: Exhibit on display in Colbert Education Center and Library lobby
  • Aug. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Opening Reception in Colbert Education Center and Library lobby
  • Sept. 12 from 5:30 -7:30 p.m.: MUSC Humanities Book Club meeting in Colbert Education Center and Library, Room 109
  • Sept. 27 at noon: Postpartum Panel Discussion- “Post-Partum Depression in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and Today: Three Perspectives” Colbert Education Center and Library, Room 109
  • Oct. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Closing lecture and reception- Basic Sciences Building auditorium with reception to follow in Colbert Education Center and Library Lobby

These events are a partnership of the MUSC’s Waring Historical Library, Women Scholars Initiative, and Humanities Committee and the College of Charleston’s Women and Gender Studies Program. Additional funding is provided by The Humanities CouncilSC.

For more detailed information about these events, please call 843-792-2288 or visit: or