Review of To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS by Dan Royles

As we approach the eleventh month of the COVID-19 pandemic, the death rates for Black, Indigenous, and people of color are disproportionately high and rising daily. The national response to the virus echoes the long-term HIV/AIDS pandemic that continues today to rattle the Black world. Dan Royle’s monumental new book, To Make the Wounded Whole:… Read more →

Not Our First Rodeo: Reading Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider through the Lens of Denver Newspapers’ Coverage of the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Weathering the COVID-19 pandemic in Fort Worth, Texas, I’m continually dismayed by the ways that money and politics are prioritized over human life all around me. In November, for example, our mayor cheerfully hosted a national rodeo competition, bringing in thousands of tourists during a period when we had fewer than twenty available ICU beds… Read more →

Moving Beyond Florence: Why We Need to Decolonize Nursing History

When I suggested the “Beyond Florence” series to the team at Nursing Clio, I didn’t set out to “cancel” Florence Nightingale. In my introductory essay, I described the environment that gave rise to my concerns about how nursing history was being represented in both the year of COVID-19 and the International Year of the Nurse… Read more →

They Are More Than Research Subjects: Recognizing the Accomplishments of Black Canadian Nurses

Moving Beyond Borders: A History of Black Canadian and Caribbean Women in the Diaspora is based on extensive interviews I conducted with 35 nurses. Through those interviews, I examine how Black Canadian-born and Caribbean nurses made meaning of their occupational experiences, communities, and relationships to the Canadian nation. The experiences of these nurses are significant… Read more →

The Women’s Health Movement and the Dream of the Diaphragm

Half a century after the emergence of the women’s liberation movement, “the pill” remains ingrained in the iconography of second-wave feminism. Although the drug now comes in a sleek blister pack, the image of a retro Dialpak remains an aesthetic touchstone—a symbol of bodily autonomy now emblazoned on enamel pins, earrings, and rubber stamps. It… Read more →

Upholding “First, Do No Harm”: A Review of Sarah B. Rodriguez’s The Love Surgeon

James Burt, an OB/GYN in Dayton, Ohio, spent years developing and perfecting his “love surgery.” He designed it to increase men’s pleasure during sex by “fixing” women’s anatomies so they would get better clitoral stimulation during missionary postion sex. The procedure involved radically altering womens’ genitalia: making the vaginal opening smaller, moving the vaginal opening… Read more →

The Essential Problem: Essential Workers Category and Vaccine Roll-Outs

In November, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared, “Racism is a threat to public health.” In doing so, the AMA finally stated outright what many of us in the humanities and social sciences have been saying for decades – “the primary drivers of racial health inequality are systemic and structural racism, racism and unconscious bias… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The Chicano detective brigade. Black, deaf and extremely online. The making of our consumer culture. The history of LGBTQ+ visual novels. An archaeologist’s guide to beer cans. A brief guide to the history of the NHS. Is any modern porn worth preserving? Black history… Read more →

Breast Cancer Care: Sexism and Knowing versus Doing

A Rise in Unnecessary Breast Cancer Surgeries A troubling trend in breast cancer treatment has surgeons scratching their heads. Since the late 1990s, more women with cancer in one breast have been opting to have both breasts surgically removed. For women without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, this procedure – contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM)… Read more →

Wearable Immunity: Beauty Lessons from the Pockmarking Era

This pandemic’s “mask wars,” as with the 1918 flu pandemic and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, have prompted reflections on how the visual cultures of disease prevention have shaped the cultures of fashion. It is timely to think again about how markers of health protection have been donned and displayed and to ask what lessons history… Read more →