It Just Wasn’t a Good Fit

Charity Adams Earley’s winter coat didn’t fit. At the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1942, women had been issued winter overcoats designed for enlisted men. Earley’s coat was too short in the arms, but many other Army women found their coats too large. And, although Earley was training to… Read more →

Writing “Hearts and Minds” as Feminist Military History

I was very proud to defend my dissertation on the British Indian Army on March 8 – International Women’s Day – until one of my advisors noted (lovingly) that there were “hardly any women in it.” She pointed out (and implicitly criticized) what is the troublingly common assumption – that of course stories about wars… Read more →

Beyond Women and War: The Lens of Feminist Military History

My first understandings of feminist military history developed when I was an officer in the US Air Force in the 1990s. I had long been interested in “women and war” as a compelling topic. I even taught a course on the subject in the 1990s as a faculty member at the US Air Force Academy…. Read more →

The Guerrilla Household of Lizzie and William Gregg

Taking a feminist lens to the Civil War in Missouri–known for its models of hypermasculinity like William Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Frank and Jesse James, Cole Younger, and William H. Gregg–it becomes readily apparent that white women were as married to the war as their Confederate menfolk. Lizzie Hook, a young woman from a slaveholding… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news A new Hippocratic oath. How I became radicalized. Compounding chalk decoction. The bittersweet story of vanilla. A secret history of supermarkets. A brief history of menstrual “his”-teria. The woman who built Beethoven’s pianos. The colonization of the ayahuasca experience. The spooky and dangerous side… Read more →

The Racist Lady with the Lamp

Nursing historiography is centered on whiteness. Even worse, nursing history revolves largely around a single white nurse: Florence Nightingale. This, unfortunately, doesn’t mean nurses understand who Nightingale was. There are nurse historians doing incredible and diverse work, but in general, nursing, both as a profession and as an academic discipline, promotes a view of Nightingale… Read more →

Why Are So Many Fellowships Residential?

It’s fellowship application season for academics. A time when we all beat the bushes of the internet, trying to find as many opportunities as possible to get time away from teaching to research or write. We pursue these opportunities diligently every year. We do so because we know our chances of actually receiving a fellowship… Read more →

A Historic Intersex Awareness Day

This year’s Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, marked a historic pivot. A few days before, Boston Children’s Hospital revealed that its physicians would no longer perform certain nonconsensual infant genital surgeries on babies born with atypical genitals. They join the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, which made a similar announcement in… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Monstrous men. Coming out as intersex. The long-lost ritual of baby books. Explaining droplet infection in 1918. The feminist history of the cardigan. The strange world of AP U.S. History. Fear of the “pussification” of America. What fans of “herd immunity” don’t tell you…. Read more →

Marie Branch and the Power of Nursing

In June 2020, when millions took to the streets in the midst of a pandemic to protest police attacks on Black lives, public statements began to trickle out of major nursing organizations. The American Nurses Association (ANA) called racism “a public health crisis,” while the American Association of Colleges of Nursing declared that “racism will… Read more →