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Posts by Sean Cosgrove

I ♥ You: Valentine’s Lessons from Way Back

By Sean Cosgrove

I like Valentine’s Day. Its initials give me pause for thought sometimes -- perhaps they are so appropriate as to be off-putting (‘V.D.’ anyone?) -- but overall it strikes me as a formalized excuse to show the people you care about that you love them. Last year, I even wrote up a little piece urging us to broaden our definitions of relationships to include the bromance in the Valentine’s festivities! So, when I say that I want your Valentine’s Day plans to be a success, I really do mean it.

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In Fair Atlanta, Where We Lay Our Scene: A Thanksgiving Love Story

By Sean Cosgrove
In recognition of this as my favourite American holiday, I couldn’t resist the urge to share with you a happy and historical Thanksgiving story I came across just the other day. It’s frothy and not particularly political, but I don’t think that makes it irrelevant or unnecessary. In fact, I sometimes think these simple stories have powerful messages of hope or love, or kindness or cheer, that transcend the historical and connect us to the past in a very real, and often emotional, way. A message not too far off what I took Thanksgiving to be about.

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Feeling Lonesome This Halloween?: Nineteenth-Century Love Charms and Halloween Party Games

By Sean Cosgrove
Are you a single woman or man staring down the barrel of another Halloween spent curled up in bed with too much cheap candy corn you’ve bought in bulk from Walgreen’s under the auspices of being prepared for the hordes of trick-or-treaters that were never going to descend on your home?

Or, are you perhaps happily single or happily partnered and looking for the perfect Halloween party game? One you’ve probably never heard of before with a nice historical bent?

Even if the answer is no to both of those questions (and I would be very surprised), I still want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen, and get ready to embrace the Halloween spirit. Today, NursingClio is taking you back to the 1890s, my favourite historical decade, and bringing to you some of the ‘charms and spells’ guaranteed (if certain conditions are met) to be ‘cast with infallible certainty of result,’ bringing true love into your life.

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Man Up: Give Blood Like a Victorian

By Sean Cosgrove

How do we convince people of the need to donate blood? It can be scary and uncomfortable, and I’ll be the first to admit, as someone who does not regularly donate, that it all seems like a lot of work. The answer, according to one comedian writing in a Sydney commuter magazine recently (which has unfortunately been lost to me and, to the best of my knowledge, is not reproduced online), at least in part, was to provoke people (especially men) into volunteering to roll up their sleeves. Rather than the softly-softly approach, the tugging on heart strings or outright begging, it suggested that we should try a more competitive approach: tell these people to drink their cup of concrete.

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A Historian’s Guide to Summer – The Ice Cream Edition

By Sean Cosgrove
Whether you’re overlooking the sandy shores of your local beach chowing down on a Gaytime, discretely licking the sides of your mouth to make sure there’s no lingering trace of that chocolate Paddle Pop you just scarfed, or running down the street hoping to catch that ice-cream truck tolling those god-awful bells, summer is synonymous with ice cream. It conjures images of warmer weather, leisure time, and sweet messes.
How it is that these overwhelmingly positive images came to be formed, however, is something of a mystery to me.

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“You’re Not Snappy Enough!”: Learning How to Write Through Nursing Clio

By Sean Cosgrove
If you’ve ever thought of yourself as a passive consumer of Nursing Clio I’m here to tell you (in the nicest possible way) that you’re wrong. You’re as much an active producer of material as we are. Sure, I do a little more writing for the site than the average reader, but by and large, you drive the content, engage in the discussion, and compel me to improve myself as a scholar. Without your input not only would Nursing Clio be in some strife, but the very reasons why I’ve joined, and why I persist in inflicting my opinions upon you, begin to disappear.
Join me in as I say thanks to readers, on behalf of myself and Nursing Clio more generally, for getting us to our first birthday!

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Do Yourself a Favour: DIY a Rainbow

By Sean Cosgrove
Usually DIY anything means hours of pain and frustration: IKEA flatpacks, or a lost Sunday at the hardware store trying to work out how to correctly measure a straight line so you can progress further towards that table-making course which seemed so attainable months ago (clearly I’ve never experienced that...) The #DIYrainbow, however, is of a completely different ilk. I promise.

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A Valentine’s (B)romance: Masculinity, Emotion, and Friendship

By Sean Cosgrove
The bromance has surged in popular culture in recent years to such an extent that you could be forgiven for thinking this a relatively recent concept. Although Wikipedia dates the term ‘bromance’ (only) to the early 90s, Urban Dictionary’s oldest definition is from 2004. The ‘bromantic comedy’ genre (think I Love You, Man, Superbad, or I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) seems to be the latest incarnation of this trend capturing enormous audience interest. Although the word might be new, however, the concept certainly isn’t.

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An Age of Innocence: Awkward Adults and Gendered Children

By Sean Cosgrove
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on NursingClio and up until the other day I had been planning on writing something incredibly exciting (I swear) regarding the history of prostitution. As it often does, however, life happened. The image below rolled across my computer screen and derailed that little nugget in favour of a conversation about our current obsession with the innocence of childhood and the possible impact it has on decisions that we, as adults, make regarding how best to guide children into adulthood. How much does adult-onset awkwardness about the fact that children do have a sexuality and are sexed influence the way we talk about issues relating to sex?

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Homosexuality the New Norm?

By Sean Cosgrove
Questions in public discourse surrounding the issues of human gender and sexuality seem to revolve around (unchallenged) binaries of female and male, and hetero or homosexual. Now, that they exist in this form currently and shape our lived experience is absolutely true. That they have always existed, however, in the guise(s) that they do now is not, and it can be dangerous to assume the unchanging nature of these constructs when talking, particularly, about social policy.

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