Feeding Our Children Fast-Food Ads

TikTok star Charli D’Amelio collaborated with Dunkin’ Donuts to launch “The Charli” drink in September 2020. Charli, notorious for sipping on Dunkin’ while dancing on TikTok, promoted its release to her 85.8 million followers. Charli’s Gen Z fans were eager to try her favorite drink. Within a month Charli’s promotional videos collectively garnered over 294 million… Read more →

Bloody Archives: An Archival Insight into the History of Sanitary Towels

Given the number of people menstruating at any one time in the United Kingdom, you would have thought it would be a key interest of past governments. And yet the UK National Archives collections show remarkably little about the history of menstruation and sanitary products. Maybe this should not be a surprise, given how male-dominated… Read more →

The Family Roe and the Messy Reality of the Abortion “Jane Roe” Didn’t Get

I almost didn’t read The Family Roe: An American Story by Joshua Prager. When I saw the premise – a biography of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, and her family – I wasn’t immediately sure why I should care. I study the broad-scale social history of reproductive health and I had… Read more →

How My Postpartum Guilt Was Healed by a 17th-Century Poet

Both of my children were born too soon. My son was twelve weeks premature, and my daughter arrived ten weeks early. Twice, I tried to will my body not to go into labor. Twice, I delivered a baby unable to breathe. Twice, I sat beside an impossibly tiny body hooked up to machines. The early… Read more →

Diversity in Children’s TV for Better Children’s Mental Health

I have a vivid memory of being in kindergarten and being called Dora, the name of the titular character from the children’s show Dora the Explorer. I was a chubby Mexican child, and those comparisons increased when I cut my hair to shoulder length, which only made me look even more like her. I couldn’t tell… Read more →

The Rainbow Underside of Pristine White Roses: Exploring the Impact of Purity Culture in the Lives of Queer Youth

Since 2018, the Muncie LGBTQ+ History Project has been collecting the stories of queer people who grew up in and around Muncie, Indiana. I worked with the project for over a year as a research associate, conducting interviews with members of the LGBTQ+ community about their experiences growing up in Muncie, a small town in… Read more →

Walking with Yarrow: A Plant’s Military History

Last September, while out for a walk in a German village called Miesau, clusters of striking yellow blooms on tall stalks with voluminous feathery leaves stopped me in my tracks. Given their prevalence, I wondered if they had any medicinal, nutritional, or aesthetic value. I was home visiting my parents, who have lived in the… Read more →

Deep in the Heartbeat of Texas

On September 1, 2021, Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), which bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, went into effect. A heartbeat, or “cardiac activity,” can be detected with a transvaginal ultrasound as early as six weeks from the date of the pregnant person’s last period. Because few people know they are pregnant… Read more →

Babylost: An Interview with Monica Casper

Sociologist Monica Casper, who has written previously on fetal surgery, has published a new book called Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z. The book consists of a series of essays related to stillbirth and newborn death, arranged alphabetically by topic. Lara: In my research for The Myth… Read more →

“Not being a man, I wanted to do the next best thing”: Female Gentlemen and the First World War

Vera Brittain worked as a voluntary nurse in France and Malta during the First World War. After the armistice, she went back to university, but by 1920 she wrote that the memories of the war “and its extraordinary aftermath had taken full possession of my warped and floundering mind.”[1] She was, she exclaimed, “Nothing but… Read more →