Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Party and protest. A history of tear gas. How we help the body breathe. Today’s Anglo-American eugenics. The past and future of Latinx voters. BleachMan says, “Clean it with Bleach!” The radical quilting of Rosie Lee Tompkins. Froth, feathers, fluff: the history of the… Read more →

Straightened Up and Dying Right? Queering Puritan Deathbeds

When I was ten, I was present at a close family friend’s deathbed, an experience that sparked my lifelong curiosity about what happens when a person moves from this life into whatever might or might not exist beyond it. Hence my interest in the Puritans. Few folks have expended more time and effort trying to… Read more →

Such a Pretty Tsaritsa

In her 2018 memoir Such A Pretty Girl, Nadina LaSpina describes her childhood in mid-twentieth century Sicily, and the pitying comments directed at her, a disabled girl, that cast her in two lights: attractive, but damaged.1 LaSpina contracted polio as a child, which left her without the use of her legs. Her family moved to… Read more →

Farmers’ Almanacs and Folk Remedies: The Role of Almanacs in Nineteenth-Century Popular Medicine

The Farmer’s Almanac has always been a staple book in my grandmother’s rural North Carolina household. Before deciding when she should plant her garden or what seeds she should put in the ground, she consults the almanac. She and her friends plan the community hog-killing by the moon phases in the almanac, believing that the… Read more →

A Different Kind of Expert

In the spring of 1813, Abigail Adams wrote to her friend Julia Rush inquiring after the death of Julia’s husband physician Benjamin Rush.1 “[O]h how shall I address you. how offer the consolation I need for myself upon an occasion which has torn my heart in anguish, filled by Bosom with Grief, and so overwhelmed… Read more →

Makers of Living, Breathing History: The Material Culture of Homemade Facemasks

Ten days into shelter-in-place orders after my kids’ schools closed, my family and I gathered around the table, staring at a mystery machine. The serendipitous early birthday gift from my mother-in-law – a sewing machine – had been meant for my sabbatical dream of learning to sew. Now, the material I had snagged from a… Read more →

Talking Back to the NIH

In January 2018, Serena Williams went public about how she almost died after giving birth to her daughter. Williams has a history of blood clots, and when she recognized the signs of a clot after her C-section, she walked up to her nurse and asked for exactly what she needed. But as she tells it,… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Votes for colonized women. The history of the riot report. The rape kit’s secret history. Graveyards as green getaways. Disney wrestles with its racist past. A history of boxed mac and cheese. What Hollywood does to Asian actors. New graphic novel on the Tiananmen… Read more →

Death before Birth: Pregnancy Loss and Funerals in England

A pregnancy loss is a site of tension, situated between waiting for the baby, the unanticipated loss, and the often complicated grieving that follows. Although still often a taboo subject, pregnancy loss has been gradually attracting more recognition as a life event that does not benefit from being silenced. Support for people going through a… Read more →

From Alfred Fournier to Anthony Fauci: Targeting Public Health Messages to Teens

Communication about the causes, effects, and prevention of COVID-19 is plentiful in the United States. Press briefings and congressional testimony have aired live; news stories offer highlights and guidance to the public. An increasing number of resources help parents talk with their young children about the pandemic, too. None of the media discussing COVID-19, however,… Read more →