Skip to content

In Between Cultural Appropriation, Racism, and Sexism: Azealia Banks and the Erasure of Black Women in Rap

By Austin McCoy

Rap artist Azealia Banks, who released her debut album, Broke with Expensive Taste, in November, made the news with her appearance on Hot 97's radio show, Ebro in the Morning, in December. In her 47 minute interview, Banks railed against white Australian-born pop singer-turned rap artist, Iggy Azalea, Azalea's boss, rapper, T.I., and against capitalism, slavery, and the appropriation of black culture. Azalea released her debut album, The New Classic in April, which shot up to #1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop Album and Rap charts. Her song "Fancy" dominated the airwaves. The positive reception even led Forbes to initially declare that Azalea "ran" rap.[1] This declaration, which Forbes eventually dialed back, underscored Banks's critique about appropriation and black women's exclusion and erasure in the corporate rap industry. Banks declared, "At the very fucking least, you owe me the right to my fucking identity. And not to exploit that shit. That's all we're holding onto with hip-hop and rap."

Read more

Come to the Dark Side: Disability as “Dark” Civil War History

By Sarah Handley-Cousins

While the rest of the world was happily decking the halls and calling for goodwill toward men, Civil War historians -- in the now-famous words of Historista blogger and historian Megan Kate Nelson -- were "freaking out."

They weren't freaking out because of the discovery of some great new source material, or an exciting new publication. They were freaking out because both Civil War History and The Journal of the Civil War Era, the two major journals in the field, each published an article in their December issues that criticized the state of current Civil War research and writing. The major concern for the articles' authors -- Gary Gallagher and Kathryn Shively Meier for JCWE and Earl J. Hess for CWH -- was that Civil War military historians, already a dying breed, are being hurried to their demise by eager social and cultural historians who dismiss military history as unscholarly and old-fashioned. Earl Hess suggests that "understanding the real battlefield of 1861-1865 is essential to understanding everything else about the Civil War."[1] Gallagher and Meier assert that "because the Civil War was a massive war, every scholar of the conflict should be at least basically versed in its military history."[2]

Read more

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-CSI: Alexander.
-How ebola research has faltered.
-Remembering Soviet space dogs.
-When 18th-century doctors fight.
-Bestiality in the time of smallpox.
-The cost of death in the 19th century.

Read more

Stay Positive: A Radical Alternative to the Gay Blood Ban

In December last year, the FDA lifted its longtime policy of deferring any blood or tissue donations coming from men who have had sex with other men at any time since 1977. The new policy defers only those men who have had sex with other men within one year of donation. This might seem like a positive change in U.S. blood and tissue donation policy. Any shift towards inclusion should be considered a step in the right direction, right? The history of the "gay blood ban," its implications in sexual politics and the state, and the prevalence of HIV criminalization policy, however, render this potential shift meaningless at best and harmful at worst. A more radical HIV tissue and blood donation policy based on informed consent would not only dramatically increase the supply of U.S. blood and tissue banks, but also fight HIV stigma and dismantle the pathologization of gay sexuality, which such discriminatory HIV policy engenders.
By Scott Olsen

The stigma against gay sexuality in current U.S. HIV policy, however, is not a novel means of marginalizing men who have sex with men. Policies like blood and tissue deferral and HIV crimin

Read more

Can a Gluten-Free Diet, Qi Gong, or Ballet Barre Cure my MS? Only a Randomized Controlled Trial Can Say…

By Lara Freidenfelds

"You have multiple sclerosis? My cousin cured her MS with a gluten-free diet and qi gong -- you should really try it!"

Since I was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago, I have heard many, many versions of this story, though with a rotating cast of miracle cures in the starring role. Some involve mainstream pharmaceuticals; many more are from the world of alternative medicine. I usually politely say, "Thanks for letting me know," and let it drop. Everyone who tells me a story like this wishes for my good health, and I do appreciate that.

Read more

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Let's go to the circus!
-The last Victorian has died.
-Flu precautions then and now.
-How I became a food historian.
-A fascinating history of diabetes.
-Plantation becomes slavery museum.

Read more

Archiving Abortion: Sharing One Story At A Time

By Melissa Madera

"I feel like nobody should have to experience anything in life without sharing it. I feel like through our experiences it teaches us a lesson and I feel like we owe it to the world to share it." That was Nikki's response when I asked her the question I ask everyone who shares their story with me for The Abortion Diary: Why do you want to share your story?

Read more

Call the Medical Missionary: Religion and Health Care in Twentieth-Century Britain

By Sarah Jane Bodell

If you have ever seen the popular BBC/PBS television program Call the Midwife[1] then you know that the central setting, Nonnatus House, is an Anglican religious order in the East End of London in the 1950s, offering midwifery and medical services to the community. Nonnatus House and Call the Midwife are semi-fictitious creations of author Jennifer Worth, who based them on her experiences as a midwife in East London with the real Community of St. John the Divine (CSJD). Institutions such as CSJD, still in operation in Birmingham today, have existed throughout London and Britain since the mid-nineteenth century. These religion-based medical charities took many forms, from small-scale dispensaries to large-scale hospitals, most offering a specialization. Some were rooted in monastic orders (as with Call the Midwife); some grew out of particular congregational societies; most, though, were established as standalone medical missions, which will be the focus of this post.

Read more

Sunday Morning Medicine

The birth of pulp fiction.
By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Historical House Hunters.
-Vintage roller derby photos.
-A "Wii Fit" for your vagina?
-How not to dress like a Puritan.
-British farmer forced to kill Nazi cows.

Read more

Female Circumcision, Clitoridectomy, and American Culture

By Sarah Rodriguez

In the United States, female circumcision (the removal of the clitoral hood) and clitoridectomy (the removal of the external nub of the clitoris) are nearly always regarded as practices that happen someplace else. When their presence within the United States is acknowledged, these procedures are positioned as having come from the outside, as originating with immigrants from parts of the world where they are performed as an "initiation rite" for young girls. Indeed, termed FGM/C (female genital mutilation/cutting) by the WHO and USAID, the practices are deemed to be cultural and performed for "non-medical reasons."

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,927 other followers