Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Ancient recycling. Psychological cinema. Excavating Woodstock. Time-traveling lesbians. The afterlife of royal hair. 8 queer music milestones. An alternate history of DDT. The hidden Zika crisis in Cuba. A brief history of the waffle iron. A people’s history of board games. America’s first generic… Read more →

Challenging Myth and Misogyny in the Ripper Murders: An Interview with Hallie Rubenhold

In her new book The Five: The Untold Stories of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, social historian Hallie Rubenhold deftly challenges conventional Ripper mythology with an extensively researched deep dive into the lives of his overlooked and stereotyped victims. Through reconstructions of these women’s individual lifelong experiences, Rubenhold counters the long-held assumption that… Read more →

What Women “Want”: Wordsmithing Education Reform Rhetoric

Persuaders and Persuadees The decentralized nature of public education in America means that any one individual who wants to implement sweeping change needs to use rhetoric and persuasion to convince others their idea is the best one. For most of American history, the persuaders have generally come from one demographic group and directed their powers… Read more →

Shame and Shearing: The Politics of Women’s Hair in Independence-Era Ireland

The shearing of women’s hair has a long history as a tactic for dehumanizing, humiliating, and setting women apart from the rest of the population.2 Hair often holds great symbolic value for women. Long hair can be a mark of femininity, and many women take great pride in their hair. The act of shaving a… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Epidemics and urban design. Radical psychiatry: 50 years later. The myth of the “underage woman.” The woman who tasted Hitler’s food. How “carpe diem” got lost in translation. The dangers of on-demand digital therapy. Hedgehogs, cannabis bread, and horse placenta. What do traffic jams… Read more →

Dinner with Death: Kate Bender, Murder, and Mayhem on the Kansas Prairie

With the close of the American Civil War, western states like Kansas teemed with travelers and refugees seeking opportunity and solace as shattered families worked to rebuild their interrupted lives. Filled with open space and limitless development potential, Kansas attracted former Union and Confederate soldiers, Exodusters (newly freed African-Americans), and migrants from the world over.1… Read more →

Over-the-Counter Anxiety: Selling the Home Pregnancy Test

Walk through the aisles of any American drugstore, and you’ll eventually encounter the home pregnancy test section. Because of the ease, convenience, and relative affordability of these tests, the majority of Americans now find out they’re pregnant in the privacy of their own bathrooms. The home pregnancy test is undoubtedly a success story. You can… Read more →

Hannah Gadbsy and the Comedy of the History Lecture

She had me at Douglas’ Pouch. The Mary Toft reference was just a bonus. I went to Hannah Gadsby’s stand up show Douglas expecting searing critique of the patriarchy, sharp commentary on trauma and sexism, a fresh perspective on gender and sexuality non-conformity, and the kind of cathartic laughter that makes everything possible. I didn’t expect… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The vaccine whisperers. Reimagining female beauty.  The racist story behind the pit bull. Can self-help heal the body politic? Why did Mary Clara like to steal dresses? Meet five doctors who perform abortions. What does “feminism” mean in Bollywood? The Sims and 20 years of… Read more →

Disappointed Love and Dangerous Temptations: Textile Factories and True Crime

Mary Bean enjoyed “unlawful relations” in the summer of 1849; by the fall she was pregnant. In November she entered the house of the mysterious Dr. Savin and was never seen again.1 Jilted at the altar, Orrilla Durrell died from “disappointed love”;2 so did Catherine Cotton, whose encounter with a con man pushed her to… Read more →