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Literature of Prescription: Introduction

Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

Exhibit & Schedule of Events

Preliminary Event:

Film Screening and Discussion 

‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’
A film based on the 1892 short story
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 4 pm - 6 pm, Bernath Auditorium,
David Adamany Undergraduate Library, 5150 Anthony Wayne Drive • Detroit, MI 48202

Join the Wayne State University Libraries and professors from Wayne State’s History, Communication and English departments for a panel discussion that will address the film and author’s place in science, women’s studies, film and writing.

Speakers include:
Marsha Richmond, Department of History
Richard Raspa, Department of English
Joel Silvers, Department of Communication


Opening Reception:

In conjunction with the SoM Arts in the Atrium – November 21, 4pm-6pm, Marjorie Peebles-Meyers Atrium, Shiffman Medical Library, Mazurek Medical Education Commons, Wayne State University


Community Event:

Detroit Public Library and the Wayne State University Shiffman Medical Library
present a Community Conversations on Health Program

Staying Well During Noel:
Mental Health Networks Serving the Community

Saturday, December 7, 2013, 2pm-4pm, Detroit Public Library Explorer's Room
5201 Woodward Ave. • Detroit, MI 48202

Learn how the following organizations can assist you and your loved ones:
Common Ground Sanctuary, Neighbor Service Organization, Detroit Children’s Center, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and United Way’s 211
See students from the Wayne State University Theatre Program perform theatrical readings from the famous 1892 short story; “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to “preserve” her health, challenged the notions of gender inequality maintained by medical and scientific experts who often suggested the exclusion of women from political and intellectual life.

RSVP: Send an email to: shiffmanoutreach(at) by November 30, 2013
More information: LaVentra E. Danquah, Outreach Services, Shiffman Medical Library, 313-577-9083

Interdisciplinary Studies

The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and  "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a rich, interdisciplinary topic.  The Association for Interdisciplinary Studies promotes "the interchange of ideas among scholars and administrators in all of the arts and sciences on intellectual and organizational issues..."  Just a few of the subject areas at Wayne State University include:

Opening Reception

The Opening Reception is being held in conjunction with the School of Medicine, Arts in the Atrium program.

RSVP: Send an email to by Friday, November 15, 2013. Space is limited.

Exhibit at Wayne State

Logo for Literature of Prescription Exhibit

A six-banner traveling exhibition at
Wayne State University
Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library
November 21 - December 28, 2013

In the late nineteenth century, at a time when women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life, 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 Wall-Paper.”

The famous tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions restricting women’s professional and creative opportunities.

Long Stem Art Nouveau Flower Right


Community Event

Community Event Flyer

Preliminary Event

Yellow Wallpaper Preliminary Event Flyer

About the Exhibit

Photograph of Charlotte Perkins Gillman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman writing
at her desk, ca. 1916-1922

Courtesy Schlesinger Library,
Radcliffe Institute,
Harvard University

NLM Exhibit Poster

Literature of Prescription Poster

Sculpture in Exhibit

Sculpture of woman in rocking chair

Photo Credit: Jill Wurm

Looking for Meaning

Graphite, oil pastel, found imagery, found objects and 72mm PSA-coated polypropylene backing. November 2013.

An artistic interpretation of "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Monica Szydlowski, Michelle Krason, and Rebecca Sanders of the Wayne State University College of Education Art Therapy Program.

Funding & Special Recognition Statement

Art Nouveau Stem with Seed Pods LoP

This project has been funded in whole or in part by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and  Human Services under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00005-C  with the University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences and Wayne State University Library System for Shiffman Medical Library Outreach Services.

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Special thanks to the Schlesinger Library, Harvard University.

The opening event is sponsored in part by the Wayne State University School of Medicine Arts in the Atrium Program.

A special "Thank You" to our sponsors, supporters, and participants for making the exhibit and events possible.