By Carrie Adkins
I am almost finished with my Ph.D. This fall I’ll defend my dissertation on the history of gynecology and obstetrics in the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century United States, and then – barring some unforeseen disaster – I’ll finally be able to make everybody I know call me “doctor.” At this point, I should be a genuine expert on my topic, and in some ways, I guess I am. Want to hear about the dangers of childbirth in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era? Curious about the history of surgeries like clitoridectomy and hysterectomy? Want to talk about racism and eugenics as applied to female bodies? I’m your girl. Let’s have coffee. Just don’t blame me when you start having horrific nightmares about vesicovaginal fistula and pubic symphysiotomy.