Liberty and Insanity Sitting in a Tree

In 2011, I participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar entitled “The Problem of Governance in the Early Republic.” Our group was housed at the Library Company of Philadelphia, and for three weeks the participants, led by Purdue University professors John L. Larson and Michael A. Morrison, talked and argued about a… Read more →

The Forgotten: Adults with Developmental Disabilities During COVID-19

“It’s time to put on hand sanitizer, Beth*,” I say as we get back in the car after visiting the park to see the ducks, or as she calls them, “QUACK QUACKS.” I reach for her hand and when the sanitizer touches her skin, she recoils. “Don’t you try! Don’t you try!” Beth exclaims, pulling… Read more →

“I Assumed It Was Urgent”: Helen Hurd’s Story

As an archivist, I gain deep knowledge of people through their personal papers. I come to appreciate their senses of humor or feel moved by their personal tragedies. A decade ago, I became intrigued by a woman whose collection contains signed photographs of 1920s movie stars. Helen Hurd’s journey from Hollywood reporter to Rutgers University… Read more →

Women’s Experiences Matter. Natalie Kimball’s An Open Secret: The History of Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Modern Bolivia

Women’s experiences matter – this simple truth is at the core of Natalie Kimball’s brilliant new exploration into the tragic history of unwanted pregnancy and abortion in highland Bolivia over the past sixty years. As Kimball so eloquently argues in her book An Open Secret: The History of Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Modern Bolivia,… Read more →

Thucydides, Historical Solidarity, and Birth in the Pandemic

I never felt any particular fear for my safety, or my baby’s, during my first pregnancy in 2016. I felt even more confident as I prepared to give birth to my second child in the spring of 2020. This changed dramatically in mid March, when suddenly my due date at the end of April coincided… Read more →

Saving the Children: Is International Adoption Really the Answer?

The year 2021 marks thirty years since the United States first issued immigrant visas to Chinese orphans, signaling the beginning of international adoptions between the United States and China. As a 21-year-old Chinese adoptee, I have encountered plenty of people telling me how lucky and grateful I should feel regarding my adoption. But despite the… Read more →

Reclaiming Disability Space in an Ableist Society: A Review of Alice Wong’s Disability Visibility

Former president Donald Trump publicly mocked and disparaged disabled people, weakened the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and cut the payroll tax to make Social Security Disability Income run out by 2022. Writing for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg interpreted that “Trump is deeply anxious about dying or… Read more →

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 →