My areas of study include American literature from Beginnings to 1913 with special consideration of 19th Century American literature and a focus on science and medicine in 19th century prose. I am currently writing a dissertation titled American Women in Health Fields: Cultural Positioning in Autobiographical Literature, 1847 to 1910. This study examines how women of science use autobiographical literature to position themselves within the framework of shifting scientific and social norms. The women in this project (including Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Dr. Harriot Hunt, Susie King Taylor, Dr. Susan Picotte, and others) perform the normative aspects of their gender identity as well as challenges to the models of discourse that were available to them. The matrix of discourse within which each woman resided affected the tools available to her; however, we can ascertain certain common strategies and these strategies are investigated here.