Posts by Author: Adam Turner

"Drag it out in the open" protest photo from Victor Silverman's and Susan Stryker's 2005 documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria.

Why Stonewall Needs Compton’s

One night in August 1966, a group of trans* women and queer youth rioted against years of stigmatization and routine police harassment. It started at a popular all-night hangout, Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, a chain restaurant in the Tenderloin and one of the few places trans* women could relax. In 1966 dressing as the “wrong gender”… Read more →

Men and women picketed the White House during a protest organized by the Mattachine Society of Washington on May 29, 1965 to call out the government's unjust firing of gay and lesbian employees. (Bettman/CORBIS)

Crimes Never Committed: Thoughts on The Imitation Game

By Adam Turner

Spoiler Alert: This isn’t exactly a movie review (if you’d like one, I recommend Alex von Tunzelmann’s review in The Guardian) but it may give away elements of the film. Be forewarned.

Warren K. Leffler, photographer, "Taxi cabs with sign 'White only, Becks cabs' on side, Albany, Georgia," created/published: August 18, 1962. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, call number LC-U9-8340-29.

A Letter and the Legacy of “Not White” in the USA

By Adam Turner

With the events of the past months, and as Austin McCoy discussed here on Nursing Clio last week, it should be clear that white privilege is still alive and well in the United States. Despite the optimism following President Obama’s election six years ago, and the Republican Party’s tweets, we do not yet live in a society where the color of your skin doesn’t matter. To make matters worse, while the discussion should be about how best to fix the problems of racial injustice and economic oppression in the United States, substantial numbers of people refuse to even accept that it’s a problem. They prefer to believe that those who suffer from systemic poverty, police violence, and a biased justice system get only what they’ve earned by being lazy, or breaking the law, or acting badly.

"Left: Patsy Simmers, holding ENIAC board Next: Mrs. Gail Taylor, holding EDVAC board Next: Mrs. Milly Beck, holding ORDVAC board Right: Mrs. Norma Stec, holding BRLESC-I board." (Source: US Army Photo, number 163-12-62, Public domain, via Historic Computers Images of the ARL Technical Library.)

Women in Tech from ENIAC to MOM

On September 24, as I enjoyed my second coffee of the morning and caught up on news, a photo caught my eye. In the image, women in colorful saris congratulated each other amidst massive computer monitors. The exuberance of the photo arrested me — as did the obvious techy setting, nerd that I am —… Read more →


Pub Quiz #1: Ye Olde America

By Adam Turner

Welcome to the inaugural Nursing Clio Pub Quiz, the “Ye Olde America” edition. I just finished teaching a four-week summer course on US women’s history to 1870, which left my head buzzing with little facts and historical anecdotes about women in colonial America and the early republic. Being a fan of trivia (and a bit of a nerd) I decided the perfect outlet for these snippets of the past would be a blog version of the venerable pub quiz. Let’s see how you do! (No Wikipedia peeking, folks.) Good luck!

"Bracero workers being fumigated," 1956. Photograph by Leonard Nadel, NMAH, History of Technology Collections.

Paranoia on the Border: Immigration and Public Health

By Adam Turner

Like others, I find the growing humanitarian crisis in Texas deeply troubling. The number of minors making this dangerous journey alone, in search of a better life away from violence and poverty, is overwhelming and heart-wrenching, not least because they’ve been met with more hostility than sympathy at the US end of their long trek. The vitriol with which anti-immigration protesters have met these children and adolescents is both disturbing and nationally embarrassing. I don’t dispute anybody’s right to disagree over immigration policy, but I don’t believe that the privilege of having been born in the United States entitles anybody to aggressively refuse assistance to children so obviously in crisis. I don’t intend to discuss the merits of one solution over another here, though. Instead, I want to highlight the particularly worrisome — but sadly familiar — paranoia about these refugees bringing disease into US border communities.


A History of Neglect

By Adam Turner

Since as far back as the American Revolution, politicians and the public have welcomed soldiers home from war with promises of cutting edge medical knowledge, comprehensive rehabilitation, and ongoing care as compensation for their service. Just as often, though, these promises have gone unfulfilled in the face of their enormous expense. The history of the veteran’s health system thus has been one of best intentions and poor funding.

Cover of Hygeia magazine showing a mother and daughter

Adventures in the Archives: The Living Past

The stereotype of historians isolated in archives with dusty papers and dim lighting has more than a grain of truth to it. Granted, my archive experiences have been more ice cold and brightly lit than dank, but the isolation can be striking. I’ve spent entire days immersed more in the past than in the world… Read more →

"Physiotherapist Eileen Perrottet at back with medallists at the first Sports Day at Mt Wilga Rehabilitation Hospital 1959," 1959, by John Sherwell. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by the Australian Paralympic Committee.

The Paralympics, Past and Present

By: Adam Turner

The Paralympics originated in Britain as a venue for people wounded in World War II to compete. Today, the Paralympic Games is one of the largest sporting events in the world. It provides an avenue for people of different physical and developmental types to compete on the world stage in a way they were never allowed to before. Like the Olympics, it celebrates friendly competition, teamwork, determination, and athletic accomplishment. The history of the Paralympics, however, reveals a far more complex picture, fraught with political, social, and even medical tensions. For many years, the Paralympics has received little media attention and poor funding. What little coverage it has gotten often reinforces stereotypes about disability as a personal tragedy to be “overcome” rather than highlighting ability and athleticism.

A pie cooked using an 18th-century recipe found through Colonial Williamsburg' Historic Foodways project.

No Pies, No Spectacles, No Preaching to Women Alone

by Adam Turner

Even without the festive march of holidays this time of year, these colder (and, here in the US Pacific Northwest, wetter) months put me in a baking frame of mind. Short days, wool socks, and an overtaxed heater seem to call out for some family traditionals — nisu and an orange-chocolate-chip bread that’s practically cake — and sends me looking for newcomers like these peppermint cream squares. I could joyously do without the barrage of “Little Drummer Boy” covers, but tolerate even the most saccharine of Christmas tunes for the sake of winter cakes, pies, pastries, and cookies.