Tag: history

The 2012 Election and Misuse of History: Why Historians Matter

By Ashley Baggett

In the past few weeks, I have witnessed excessive misuse of history to justify political opinions. The presidential election seemed to bring out the historian in everyone, much to my chagrin. Generally, I try to avoid debating people on social media (a wise suggestion for everyone), but I couldn’t stand it anymore during the election returns. Way too often people used quotes taken completely out of context (as I’m screaming, “But context matters for understanding that properly!!!”). On every Facebook status that made me cringe, I put in my two cents and tactfully acted as a caped crusader correcting gross historical inaccuracies and rabid attacks on the historical profession. The responses were depressing. The lack of rational discussion I expected to a degree, but the low level of respect for historians was shocking. I wondered, as many of us often do, how to maintain the accessibility of history to the public and yet still retain authority over our expertise?

Why We Should Expand the Voting Rights Act Instead of Dismantling It

By Austin McCoy

President Obama’s recognition of Americans’ struggles while voting seemed unexpected, even with all of the news reports about long lines, defective voter machines, and other voter irregularities.What is even more astonishing, and at this point, pretty tone deaf, is that the Supreme Court may hear another case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Shelby County, Alabama aspires to have the provision overturned on the grounds that it is archaic and unnecessary in an “American that elected and reelected Barack Obama as its first African-American president.” Section 5 forces particular states with histories of voter disenfranchisement to seek “preclearance” from the Department of Justice before changing voting rules. Conservative justices, according to Adam Serwer writing for Mother Jones, argue that the law discriminates against white southerners despite the fact that Section 5 applies to “all or parts of” Western and Northern states such as New York, New Hampshire, California, and Arizona, nor does it single out white individuals. States and “political subdivisions” are the regulated entities.

What Does Responsibility Have to Do with Reproduction?

By Adam Turner

Genetic counseling, as the previous two posts in this series suggest, has a lot to offer for navigating the tricky decisions things like prenatal testing and preimplantation genetic diagnosis raise. Well, in this post I’d like to make things a little more complicated. Enter the sheer messiness of history. I still believe genetic counseling is the best approach we have right now for helping prospective parents with hard choices, but it has a complicated — and not so distant — past that continues to shape counselors’ ways of interacting with clients.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Mick Jagger’s love letters up for sale.
-Does a court have the power to order an abortion?
-New risks for women who suffer from depression during pregnancy.
-A 64-year-long project to memorialize Crazy Horse.
-Abandoned suitcases of insame asylum patients.
-Just for laughs – US Presidents in mom jeans.

Believe it or not there were and are Mormon feminists

By Heather Munro Prescott

During the presidential election there were a number of speculations about Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s views on women, including horror stories circulated about his “shameful” behavior while serving as an elder in the LDS church. This led some to assume that the LDS church as a whole is poisonous for women.

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times Britain in the 1950s

As I watched Call the Midwife, I recalled my own personal memories and relationship with the National Health System (NHS).   I trained as a midwife in the late 1980s in one of the busiest (if not the busiest) inner-city maternity hospitals in Britain. We delivered 8,000 babies a year. Midwifery training was highly competitive. The… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Handy tips for your annual James K. Polk party.
-How WWII GI’s shaped Britain’s view of America.
-Colonial bones and Hurricane Sandy.
-New Deal utopian town turns 75.
-Cave from Island of the Blue Dolphins located.
-Archeologists uncover Europe’s oldest prehistoric town.

When the Personal Really is Historical (and Scary!)

By Jacqueline Antonovich

So, I have pertussis. You may know it better as whooping cough. Believe me, the irony of a gender and medicine historian catching a 19th century disease is not lost on me. It’s hard enough to be a graduate student, a GSI (Graduate Student Instructor), a wife, and a mother of two, but throw in a good old-fashioned Oregon Trail disease, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a semester.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Historical artifacts missing from the National Archives!
-The earliest surviving photographic self-portrait.
-Want to help crack the world’s oldest undeciphered writing?
-Is intersectionality an elitist concept?
-Should cheerleading be considered a sport for health reasons?
-Punk Rock archive in Denver.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Men looking for cat, find catacomb instead.
-10 historical (and awesome) facts about the Girl Scouts.
-Now boys are hitting puberty earlier too.
-Richard Burton’s very sexy diaries (and yes, a lot of it is about Liz).
-Very, very, very old socks.
-“Lilly of the Mohawks” officially becomes a Saint.