The Misuse of History in The Business of Birth Control

“The Business of Birth Control,” a 2021 film directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake, tells a selective history of contraceptives in the United States and aims to “empower” women (and persons with uteri generally) to make knowledgeable choices about their choice of preventative methods.[1] However, as previous critics of the film… Read more →

Abortion in Mexican History: An Interview with Elizabeth O’Brien

Nursing Clio’s third annual best article prize went to Elizabeth O’Brien, an assistant professor of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, for her article, “The Many Meanings of Aborto: Pregnancy Termination and the Instability of a Medical Category Over Time.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth about her work on the history… Read more →

Family Connections: Melissa Fu’s Peach Blossom Spring

“To know a story is to carry it always, etched in his bones, even if dormant for decades.” (Melissa Fu, Peach Blossom Spring, 4) These days, it feels like every other historical fiction novel is about World War II. Many of these are written by women authors and focus on female characters. Whether these characters… Read more →

America Responds to Monkeypox: Learning from the History of HIV/AIDS

As known cases of monkeypox in the United States, the vast majority of which are among gay and bisexual men, continue to increase, an argument is raging – in the news media and on Twitter – over how to talk to the public about the disease. Some want to emphasize that “everyone is at risk,”… Read more →

Better Sight, Better Light: Eyesight and Selling the Farm Wife on Electric Modernity

On a chilly Monday in early February 1940, hundreds of locals had crowded into a “big top” tent in Johnson City, Texas to see the electric circus.[1] On the stage, a woman stood before a table of lamps, prepared to give a speech that she’d given dozens of times before. She would begin: “Everybody here… Read more →

Accidental Traces: Stowaway Objects in the Radio Haiti Archive

From the early 1970s until 2003, Radio Haïti-Inter, or simply Radio Haiti, was the country’s most prominent independent radio station. Under the leadership of its director, Jean Dominique and its news director Michèle Montas (who was also Dominique’s professional partner and wife), Radio Haiti fought for human rights, freedom of expression, and an end to… Read more →

Making Maternal Labor Visible

Popular culture tells us many things about Americans. We watch stories of made-up families and binge shows that fictionalize real-life situations. We know that television shows do not depict the realities of our lives; onscreen, we see the best edits, the reflection of life with the challenges often glossed over or removed. Television shows have… Read more →

Reckoning with the History of Racial Marketing of Menthol Cigarettes

In Pushing Cool, Dr. Keith Wailoo presents a sixty-year history of menthol cigarettes becoming a racialized product. Wailoo has written a number of essential books on race, racism, and health since the 1990s, including Pain: A Political History and How Cancer Crossed the Color Line. This is the first of Wailoo’s books to deal with… Read more →

Abortion Is a Human Right

We – like you – are horrified and outraged that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, ending the federally protected right to abortion. As dozens of our writers have shown since Nursing Clio was founded in 2012, pregnant people have… Read more →

“o what happiness it wood be for me to see you once more”: A Mother’s Letter, a Royal Navy Sodomy Hanging, and the Tragic in Queer History

Content warning: Sexual violence and rape; sexual abuse of minors; state violence against queer people. Late in 1800, Britain’s Royal Navy hanged two sailors for having sex together. Just days before the new year, readers of the Hampshire Chronicle learned that “Monday morning John Hubbard and George Hynes, two seamen belonging to the St. George,… Read more →