A Brief History of “Bouncing Back”

So the world has witnessed yet another round of the Royal Baby bonanza — from tracking Meghan Markle’s maternity style, to conjecturing on her due date, to now discussing the baby’s name. But the most familiar set piece of this performance is, of course, the post-birth photo shoot. British tabloids loudly complained about the privacy… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Sex, art, and misogyny. The first mom in space. A tale of two suffragists. What killed Prince Albert? A history of American beef. Was Shakespeare a woman? PTSD and the American Civil War. Escaping the corset in South Korea. The last queen of Greenwich… Read more →

“Our Moral Obligation:” The Pastors That Counseled in Pre-Roe South Carolina

On December 8, 1971, a Presbyterian pastor in Greenville, SC counseled three women on their “problem pregnancies,” ultimately connecting them with clinical abortion providers. The first woman was a white, 21-year-old university student. Her relationship with her boyfriend had ended that October, and she believed abortion was, to use her words, a “last ditch contraception.”… Read more →

From Hospital to Home: Wendy Kline’s Coming Home: How Midwives Changed Birth

Wendy Kline has delivered a new addition to the history of childbirth in America. In her engaging and well-researched book, Coming Home: How Midwives Changed Birth, Kline presents a new and necessary chapter in the story of the medicalization of childbirth in the United States: the history of the home birth movement. Kline has a… Read more →

For Keeps: Teenage Girls and Anxiety around Sex during the 1990s

In 1995, I was sixteen and experiencing the excitement of my first real love. As if out of a 1990s teen rom-com, my boyfriend asked me to “go with him” by drawing a picture of roses and placing them in our shared locker. Once, when we were shamelessly making out in the band room between… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Siberians in Hawaii. The codpiece and the pox. Nobody uses dental dams. Brady Bunch and the measles. Gendering the history of crime. Looking back at WWII’s Lumberjills. It’s time to get rid of reform schools. 18th-century belief in extraterrestrials. Menstrual products as museum artifacts…. Read more →

An Excellent Adventure through Real Queer America

Newsflash: Red-state America is crawling with queer people. Those polite kids handing over your order at the Interstate exit drive-thru window? Queer. People peeing in the same bathroom as you at a gargantuan Buc-ee’s in Texas? Queer. Baking cookies at the youth and family center in the old Victorian house across the street from the… Read more →

On the Craft of Editing, Our Teachers, and Leaving Academia

Generations of history graduate students at the College of William & Mary have stories to tell about Gil Kelly. The longtime managing editor of the books program at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OI), Gil was one of those unforgettable individuals. Throughout his career and long past the advent of Microsoft… Read more →

Japan’s Once and Future Female Emperors

With the abdication today of the Japanese emperor, Akihito, and the passage of the throne to his son, talk has emerged yet again about the future of Japan’s imperial family and its insistence on male dynastic succession. But would it be so revolutionary to put a woman on the throne? History tells us no. In… Read more →

Museum Educators Unite: Unionizing the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

On April 15th, 2019, a group of workers in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s departments of Education, Visitor Services, Retail, and Advance Sales voted 72–3 to join United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2110, joining a growing movement of museum professionals forming unions in New York City. The Tenement Museum is a unique institution. Housed… Read more →