Will Technology Change How We Understand Interpersonal Violence? Maybe. Probably Not.

The Atlantic’s August cover story by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, “An Epidemic of Disbelief,” describes how some jurisdictions, in the midst of processing backlogs of rape kits going back years and in some cases decades, are uncovering DNA evidence that is changing what we know about rape. DNA testing has shown that there is an extraordinarily… Read more →

Historical Fanfiction as Affective History Making

I became a historian because of a television show. That is something I don’t often admit, but it’s true. I was home for Thanksgiving in 2009, nearly finished with my first semester as a journalism major, and I was miserable. To cope, I spent two days curled up on my parents’ couch watching the Band… Read more →

Thomsonianism Meets Juice Cleanses

I will be the first to admit that I love juices. They’re colorful, full of tasty fruits and vegetables, and highly “Instagrammable.” I’ve been known to occasionally treat myself to a $10 cold-pressed drink, but there’s more to juice than just an expensive beverage. They’ve become part of an alternative medicine culture surrounding the idea… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Prehistoric baby bottles. Black motherhood on TV. The Tylenol Murders of 1982. Reclaiming sci-fi’s lost history. How New York defeated rabies. A family history of the Red Scare. Ergot and the first roots of the FDA. Branding the breast cancer narrative. Using AI to… Read more →

“Good” Teeth: American Dental Care and Classism

I used to hide my own teeth. It started in fourth grade during spring photos. When my big adult teeth were just coming in, I gave a toothy smile as I leaned on a white picnic table fragment in front of a backdrop of someone else’s nice country porch. My classmates snickered. My teeth were… Read more →

Understanding Shaming’s Place in History: The Story of Germany’s Victims

It can be difficult for those who have never experienced sexual violence to understand and address the pain of survivors. From the women who’ve chosen to come forward and report instances of abuse in the entertainment industry as part of the #MeToo Movement, to less publicized cases in which women make the brave choice to… Read more →

A Bloody Sweater and a Pair of Dentures

Private Togo Piper didn’t have many personal belongings. When he died overseas in May 1943, all that was returned to his family were a few photographs, letters, toiletries… and a pair of dentures. This came as a bit of a surprise to his widow, Julia. To her knowledge, her husband had been in possession of… Read more →

“Immoderate Menses” or Abortion? Bodily Knowledge and Illicit Intimacy in an 1851 Divorce Trial

In 1851, four years after actress Josephine Clifton’s death, she was named as one of Edwin Forrest’s adulterers during the American actor’s divorce trial. Forrest was an established transatlantic celebrity who exemplified rugged American masculinity in both his roles and celebrity persona. In 1849, Forrest’s rivalry with English thespian William Charles Macready inspired the deadly… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news States of immunity. A Georgian guide to university life. What if we didn’t dread menopause? The favorite occult remedy of the Puritans. Drugs and politics of consumption in Japan. Before Anne Frank, there was Renia Spiegel. National parks sometimes have the best trash. When… Read more →

“A Most Damnable Fraud?” Public (Mis)conceptions and the Insanity Defense

James Kahler murdered his two daughters, ex-wife, and grandmother in Kansas on Thanksgiving in 2009. Kahler’s defense team wanted to use an insanity plea, but Kansas is one of only four states that does not allow for this defense. Quickly, the focus of his trial shifted from the question of his mental health to a… Read more →