The Deathbed and the Sound of Rebirth

What is the soundscape of the deathbed? Most often, for Chinese Buddhists, it has involved the sound of human voices chanting the name of Amitābha Buddha. According to the core Pure Land scriptures, Amitābha vowed to save all those who called on him, ensuring that after death they would be reborn in his Pure Land,… Read more →

Accessibility in America Past and Present

Bess Williamson’s Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design is a thought-provoking and edifying look at the shifting culture around disability and the design of our built environment in the United States from post-World War II to the present. I was interested to read the book both because I have a longstanding scholarly interest… Read more →

Writing Black Women’s Stories in French: A Review of A Decolonial Feminism and Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire

Since January 2011, an archived rendition of the “Anthem of the Movement for the Liberation of Women” (MLF) has garnered more than 300,000 views on YouTube. The song was collaboratively written by MLF leaders and sung for the first time in March 1971 to commemorate the lives of the women who died during the Parisian… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Toppling Columbus. When plague is not a metaphor. What Black nature might look like. Protesting police violence, a playlist. The world’s most historic ghost towns. The first gay magazine in the United States. Sierra Club grapples with John Muir’s racism. A brief history of… Read more →

“Heroic Effort Beyond the Call of Duty”: Death Care Workers and the 1947 Texas City Disaster

On April 16, 2020, the New York Times published an op-ed about the challenges facing overwhelmed funeral directors around the country during the COVID-19 epidemic. In “hot spots” like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans, funeral home staff are working long hours to pick up and prepare the remains of those killed by the disease;… Read more →

“For Those on Both Sides”: An Interview with Mary Ziegler about Abortion and the Law in America

Recently, Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler sat down with Nursing Clio to talk about her new book, Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present. The book illustrates how the question of “abortion rights” is only one piece of the puzzle – rather both antiabortion and pro-choice advocates have… Read more →

The Children’s Nutrition and Dental Clinics of Mobile: Public Health, Volunteerism, and the Color Line during the Great Depression

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a staggering economic impact in a short time. Jobless numbers in America are growing and food banks and other emergency relief efforts are struggling to keep up with demand. As we struggle to understand what long-term cultural and economic changes the pandemic might leave in its wake, it is worth… Read more →

Death, Distance, and the Digital World

My neighbor died as I was finishing this essay. We were two weeks into the stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. When the ambulance came, I stood on the front porch and watched the paramedics don hazmat suits before entering his home. His wife stood on the street as they loaded him into… Read more →

Lieutenant Lowderback’s Short Snorter: A Flight Nurse’s Service and Souvenir in WWII

Lieutenant Ruth Banfield Lowderback was nervous on her first flight accompanying wounded and ill soldiers back to the mainland U.S. The plane barreled down the runway of Hawaii’s Hickam Airfield to embark on a twenty-hour flight to San Francisco. On February 17, 1945, twenty-seven-year-old Lowderback, newlywed and newly deployed, marked two milestones: her first service… Read more →

To Let Die: COVID-19 and the Banalization of Evil

The course of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a disturbing paradox as to how we deal with the disease. The two countries with the highest incidence and mortality statistics – the United States and Brazil – are the same places where there are large groups mobilizing against social distancing, mainly because of the actions of the… Read more →