Colorizing and Fictionalizing the Past: A Review of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old

Five years ago, the Imperial War Museum in London contacted Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) and tasked him with presenting some 100+ hours of archival footage from the First World War in a “fresh and original” way, without any new or modern footage. For over half a decade, Jackson and his team… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Art of a revolution. The myth of the Jewish nose. A short history of the elevator. Germany’s real life “swing kids.” Live childbirth to make TV history. An unnamed girl, a speculative history. How measles kills 100,000 kids a year. Attack dogs and the… Read more →

Take Back the Net: Joy Rankin’s A People’s History of Computing in the United States

Should I post a tough parenting question on Twitter, ask my Facebook community, or email a few friends who are most likely to have useful suggestions? What would be the best place to reach people to share an intriguing job announcement? These days, we have a multitude of network options, and we assume that computers… Read more →

Discovery, Interrupted

It was the third and final week of my first dissertation research trip. I’d spent my first two weeks moving slowly through the collections at the University of Akron’s Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP). It was a joy to take my time getting to know the clinical psychologists who would feature in… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Elizabeth I’s love life. A history of buffalo wings. Queering the black press. A history of the pap smear. A brief history of lesbian sex on TV. When sun dogs changed England. The man who defined drunk driving. The rise and fall of the… Read more →

Quacks, Alternative Medicine, and the U.S. Army in the First World War

During the First World War, the Surgeon General received numerous pitches for miraculous cures for sick and wounded American soldiers. Ranging from anti-sea sickness remedies to complex elixirs for treating diseases like tuberculosis and venereal disease, America’s “quack” and non-traditional medical practitioners sought a seat at the table. Serving as a barrier between established medical… Read more →

“Remember—Don’t Drill a Hole in Your Head”: A Review of The Sawbones Book

The Sawbones Book: The Horrifying, Hilarious Road to Modern Medicine is an adaptation of a Maximum Fun Network podcast, Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine. I reviewed the podcast for my own blog back in 2014, so I’ll keep the synopsis here short: Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy are married. She’s a doctor…. Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The history of blood. Jack the Ripper outdone. The treasure behind the wall. Saving black feminist classics. America is failing its black mothers. A history of seasonal affective disorder. The accidental invention of bubble wrap. The archiving of black women’s sexual lives. Public dissection… Read more →

I Am a Professor in a Movie

Inspired by the “I am a ____ in a movie” phenomenon on Twitter where people in different professions tweeted the unrealistic portrayals of their professions on the big screen. I am a professor in a movie. I enter a college classroom on the first day. The classroom is filled with first-generation college students with few… Read more →

Feeling Grief: On Emotions in the Archive of Enslavement

In September, when an archivist at Fisk University asked me to help identify a ten-page manuscript from 1776 Saint-Domingue, my mind began to race. Saint-Domingue was the French Caribbean colony that became Haiti after a long revolution that lasted from 1791 until November 18, 1803. In the 1770s, the colony was in the throes of… Read more →