Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The prince of quacks. Too many episiotomies. The history of “Medicare for All.” Periods went public – now what? Plastic surgery, incels, and Chads. The case of a black woman serial killer. A history of Chicago’s lesbian fishing club. A Nazi textbook and a… Read more →

Desire Work, Gender, and Sexuality in South African Ex-Gay Ministries: A Conversation with Melissa Hackman

In her new book, Desire Work: Ex-Gay and Pentecostal Masculinity in South Africa, Dr. Melissa Hackman examines the experiences of Pentecostal men in “ex-gay” ministries in post apartheid Cape Town. Published in 2018 by Duke University Press, Desire Work explores the belief systems, daily activities, and complicated processes of transformation that take place at the… Read more →

Openness and Authority in Pregnancy: Lucy Knisley’s Kid Gloves

I began reading Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos on my own due date, desperately trying to keep busy as I awaited my baby’s arrival. Lucy Knisley’s extremely honest and intensely readable graphic memoir about pregnancy and childbirth was not exactly a distraction, as the book recounts her own stories related to trying to… Read more →

The Power of Corporate Interests Over Home Baking

In 1840, the American press widely circulated illustrations of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake. It was a 300-pound, 14-inch-tall and 10-foot-wide plum cake, decorated with piped floral detailing and topped with a figure of Britannia blessing the couple while cupids sat around them. It was a sharp contrast to the simply iced, single-tier fruit cake that… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The abortion pastels. Being black in Nazi Germany. Colonialism created navy blue. The feminism of Amelia Earhart. Should these clothes be saved? Heterosexuality without women. The troubled history of psychiatry. The neon motel signs of Las Vegas. Why race science is on the rise… Read more →

Complicating the Canon of the First World War: A Review of Ellen La Motte’s Backwash of War, edited by Cynthia Wachtell

Think back on any syllabi of the First World War and the literature represented in it. For me, those titles included Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and Frederick Manning’s The Middle Parts of Fortune, or poets like Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, and Laurence Binyon. Indeed,… Read more →

A Woman Who Wrote About War: Recovering Ellen N. La Motte’s The Backwash of War

I love the old American spiritual “Down by the Riverside.” In fact, my first book borrows its title, War No More, from the song’s refrain. However, as a scholar of American antiwar writing, I have been studying war for a very long time. Sadly, my scholarly career has overlapped with America’s wars in Afghanistan and… Read more →

Labor, Birth, and Superstitions

On the morning that my daughter-in-law went into labor, a small bird crashed into our apartment window and lay dead on the terrace. At least that’s what I assumed happened when I saw its small black and yellow body lying on its side. Our internet research told us it was a Blackburnian Warbler, a bird… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Rethinking Anne Boleyn. Slavery and the family tree. A brief history of in-flight meals. The bubonic plague hits Hawaii. The feminist history of the bicycle. Is there a witch bottle in your house? Emmitt Till’s father was also hanged. For nurses, trauma comes with… Read more →

Between the Pages: Victorian Women’s Letters to H. Lenox Hodge

This essay was first published at Fugitive Leaves, the blog of The History Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Cracking open the accordion-notebook of Dr. Hugh Lenox Hodge at The History Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, I read from the top, thumb and index finger poised delicately at… Read more →