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 →

Clara Immerwahr: Science’s Tragic and Surprisingly Modern Heroine

A woman is in an unhappy marriage. After much stress and hard work, and a healthy dose of sexism in her lab, she’s also awarded a doctorate in chemistry. After having graduated with Latin honors, the woman’s graduate research is on the solubility of different chemicals, including mercury, copper, and other important metals commonly used… Read more →

All My Babies and Black Midwifery: An Interview with Wangui Muigai

Wangui Muigai is the winner of the inaugural Nursing Clio Best Journal Article Prize for “‘Something Wasn’t Clean’: Black Midwifery, Birth, and Postwar Medical Education in All My Babies,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 93, no. 1 (2019), 82–113. An assistant professor of history and African and African American studies at Brandeis University,… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Food as protest. Defund the police. Motorcycle midwives. “Comfort Women” crisis. Hawaiians In The Civil War. Nurses have a history of activism. A comic about Fannie Lou Hamer. Documenting Seattle’s Capitol Hill. A 100-year-old lynching in Minnesota. The double standard of the American riot…. Read more →