"Thanksgiving turkey," ca. 1910 and ca. 1915. (Bain News Service/Library of Congress | Public domain)

The Paradox of Thanksgiving

With its odd combination of tradition and invention, its appeals to the past and to the future, its ancestor worship and its acceptance of diversity, Thanksgiving is not merely America’s most treasured celebration but its most paradoxical. But at a moment when we are increasingly confronting the United States’ less-than-perfect history and challenging sacred myths,… Read more →

(Josh Wedin/Flickr | CC BY)

Nursing Thanksgiving

In November 1820, the Reverend John Marsh delivered a Thanksgiving Day sermon in Haddam, Connecticut that couldn’t have been more orthodox and run of the mill, despite its auspicious occasion, the bicentenary of the Pilgrims’ First Landing in 1620. The town fathers deemed the homily worth publishing, and reading it today is perhaps a slog…. Read more →

Wellcome Library, London
"Fives phases in batting at baseball; three phases at football." The human figure in motion, Eadweard James Muybridge, 1901.

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Getting a taste of Pilgrim life. Stonewall’s contested history. The glorious history of cat ladies. The female libido pill isn’t selling. 18 rules for young ladies in 1831. The story behind the first rape kit. You’re great-grandma’s dirty books. Ancient medicine and fetal personhood…. Read more →

More Recent Articles

The New York Illustrated Times reporting the arrest of "Madame Restell" in 1878. (Public domain)

“She Looks the Abortionist and the Bad Woman”: Sensation, Physiognomy, and Misogyny in Abortion Discourse

In November of 1866, a minor sensation rocked the Albany area following the death of the young widow Elizabeth Dunham, who passed away at her mother’s house on the third of the month under, as the Albany Argus primly noted, “suspicious circumstances.” The Argus’s suspicions quickly proved sound. An inquest performed the next day revealed… Read more →

La Doctoresse, sheet music,
Paris, c. 1900. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/ephemera/women.html

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news A history of death midwives. 6 jokes from 19th century America. The big, bad breastfeeding industry. Stonewall and the politics of memory. The misfortunes of a Victorian actress. 7 surprising facts about gay life in the 1970s. 10 things you won’t see on Downton… Read more →

Wall art depicting a woman and a fetus in a womb

Happy Miscarriages: An Emotional History of Pregnancy Loss

An article published earlier this year in Obstetrics and Gynecology exposed Americans’ misunderstandings about miscarriage. A team of researchers asked over 1,000 adults about their knowledge of miscarriage, including how common it is and why it occurs. Among the more common misperceptions: 55% of respondents reported that miscarriage was uncommon (occurring in 5% or less… Read more →