Evan P. Sullivan

Disability Identity and the Culture of Veteran Athletics in Modern America

In May 2020, Prince Harry will inaugurate the fifth Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands. An international sporting event for wounded, disabled, and sick veterans of modern war that began in 2014, the Invictus Games will bring together five hundred athletes from over a dozen countries competing in events like wheelchair basketball, cycling, and archery…. Read more →

Civil War Disability in the Light and the Dark: An Interview with Sarah Handley-Cousins

Sarah Handley-Cousins argues in her new book, Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North, that the bodies of disabled Union soldiers and veterans “were sites of powerful cultural beliefs about duty, honor, and sacrifice,” yet those ideals became complicated with men who failed to perform the socially accepted role of wounded warrior. Her work… Read more →

“Considerable Grief”: Dead Bodies, Mortuary Science, and Repatriation after the Great War

In September 1919, Mary McKenney was forced to relive the horrors of her husband Arthur’s death. Sergeant Arthur McKenney was wounded in France and returned to the United States.1 Despite his minor injury, he later died at a US Army hospital in Colonia, New Jersey from shock following an operation. After the autopsy, his body… 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 →

Neuro-Psychiatry and Patient Protest in First World War American Hospitals

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. As historian and Nursing Clio writer Evan Sullivan tweeted earlier this week, “We’ve always benefitted from the proximity of living within a century’s distance from WWI, but after this Sunday, it will begin to drift further into history. It will be… Read more →

Between War and Water: Saratoga Springs and Veteran Health after the First World War

One month and eight days before world leaders signed the Armistice to end the First World War, New York Governor Charles Whitman wrote to Surgeon General William Gorgas to ensure that his state would play a role in caring for America’s veterans. He advocated on behalf of Saratoga Springs, a vibrant city forty miles north… Read more →

Neurasthenia, Capitalism, and Biopower in HBO’s Westworld

The HBO series Westworld has amassed a large fan base that has grown since the start of the second season. For those who haven’t tuned in, the show is set in the near future and follows the activity of a park full of robots who look and act like humans. Humans pay premium prices to… Read more →

Thrown Open to the Public: Medicine, Modernity, and Disabled Veterans on National Hospital Day in the Interwar Years

On May 12, 1923 hundreds of visitors poured into United States Veterans Hospital 81 for insane soldiers in the Bronx for the third annual National Hospital Day. New Yorkers toured the facilities and viewed exhibits of disabled veterans, paying particular attention to a new printing shop “where patients publish the hospital paper, Hospitality.” Touting the… Read more →

The Devastation of Peace: Otilia Noeckel and the Army Nurse Corps after the Great War

“I just adore the work I am doing right now. I am on a dressing team with another nurse and a surgeon. We dress wounds almost all day long. Today we did sixty. The horrors of the war are certainly evident around here. Some of the wounds are frightful and some of the poor boys… Read more →

Creating Battle Signs: Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans, Art Therapy, and Rehabilitation

During my first research trip to the National Archives in College Park I stayed with my family in Lorton, Virginia just outside Washington, D.C. Every morning I drove past Fort Belvoir, a large and seemingly endless military base with its own school system and stores, and wondered what the inner workings were like. All I… Read more →