Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Yellow fever fiend. Picturing Jewish Vacationland. The renaissance of intellectual racism. Preventing pregnancy in the early modern world. When did the sun turn bad: A brief history of tanning. Meet the real “mad women” behind Maidenform bra ads. The erasure of people of African… Read more →

Pink Triangle Legacies: Holocaust Memory and International Gay Rights Activism

In the twenty-first century, it’s hard to imagine a social movement without hashtags. Social media has influenced issues ranging from local elections to global geopolitics (just ask anyone involved in the Arab Spring), and hashtags have become forms of communication and customizable symbols representing specific movements. But what about social protests in a pre-Internet age?… Read more →

Why Eighteenth-Century Hangriness Might Be A Thing (And Why It Matters)

Captured by Abenaki Indians from New Hampshire in 1724, the Englishwoman Elizabeth Hanson described how after a disappointing hunt, her captor “with a very angry Look threw a Stick or Corn-Cob at me,” and threatened to kill her and her children. But, Hanson observed, “when-ever he was in such a Temper, he wanted Food, and… Read more →

“We lost our appetite for food”: Why Eighteenth-Century Hangriness Might Not Be a Thing

In August 2015, Oxford Dictionaries declared that the word “hangry” had entered our common vocabulary. Surely most people living in the twenty-first century have experienced the sense of being simultaneously hungry and angry. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, hunger was also everywhere. A recent NPR essay examines how slaveholders withheld food from enslaved people,… Read more →

The Campaign to Confront Nixon and End the War in Indochina

Now that Trump has been installed as President, many Americans are turning to history for inspiration in resisting his agenda. I suggest that a little-known group, the Indochina Peace campaign, an antiwar organization founded by Tom Hayden, actress and activist Jane Fonda, and others may offer a model and strategy. As much of the work on… Read more →

Elimination Diets: Medical & Dietary Detective Work

After a lengthy, expensive, and invasive process, I received a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a hard to pronounce and fairly rare — but increasingly common — chronic allergic disorder. Hesitant to accept a lifelong diagnosis and the sick person’s role I imagined would come with it, I asked my physician what would happen if… Read more →

Eyes of the Beholder: The Public Health Service Reports on Trachoma in White Appalachia and Indian Country

In 1912, the United States Public Health Service (PHS) set out to survey trachoma rates among two populations: Appalachian Whites in Kentucky and American Indians. I knew about the American Indian survey from my dissertation research on Native health in the early twentieth century. But when I read the report from that study, I was… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news LSD: Insight or insanity? Coding for abortion access. Women’s lives in 1790s NYC. Linking hunger and healthcare. Chloroform and Queen Victoria. How did Civil War surgeons cope? Getting into Marie Antoinette’s head. How Victorian doctors treated depression. On racism and racial violence in the… Read more →

Milk: A History of Tasting What Cows Eat

Everybody since the dawn of time has had to eat — for once, that’s a sentence construction that no professor or teaching assistant can take umbrage with. Today we are pleased to bring you the first essay in our new series Bites of History. From diets meant to treat medical issues to the founding of… Read more →

“Save Changes”: Telling Stories of Disability Protest

At first, it was a simple case of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” as I worked with WikiEducation Foundation to teach a methods course in which students created disability history content. But the more I learned, the more it became clear that we were engaging in multiple forms of protest, especially once I… Read more →