Category: Clio Gets Personal

On Poverty, Morality, and Mothering

In 1930, nineteen-year-old black (preta) Jovelina Pereira dos Santos, a live-in domestic servant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hid her pregnancy from her family and employers, gave birth in secret, and asphyxiated her newborn immediately after delivery. Santos already had a young son named Ernesto who was a little over one year of age. Santos… Read more →

My Experiences with Auto-Immunity and Why I Dislike the Term “Able-Bodied”

I dislike the term “able-bodied.” I see this term used frequently in academic and activist scholarship, as well as everyday language, often without giving the term its due scrutiny. As an academic who studies structural inequalities based on race, gender, and disability, I find that it assumes a binary system structured on ableist ideas. It… Read more →

Finding My Amputee Brethren

I remember vividly the first amputee I met after my amputation. Driving down with my spouse to Wake Forest from our small college town so that I could get more chemo, we were at a rest stop. I had only recently received my first “test” leg and hobbled along, with atrophied muscles from months of… Read more →

Teaching Rape

Throughout my academic career, I have talked about, read about, and taught about rape. To be clear, rape is not my research focus. Murder is my bailiwick. Within that context, rape features peripherally as an adjunct to another crime. But I have read about, discussed, and now teach about rape because I believe it is… Read more →

Writing My Dissertation, A gif Odyssey

Fears of a White Mother for her Biracial Son

My son could be Philandro Castile, the Minnesota cafeteria manager who was shot by police in July 2016 as he simply reached for his license during a traffic stop. I am a white woman in the South, raising a black son. I have grown used to the stares of surprise and barely-hidden shock. This is… Read more →

I Could Wrestle with my Disability, but I Think I’ll Dance Instead

This post is the inaugural essay in an occasional series we’re calling Clio Gets Personal, a special and infrequent departure from our typical historical and cultural criticism featuring more intimate stories.  A year and a half ago, I gained a permanent dance partner. That’s what I’ve decided. That’s how I need to think about the damage to my visual… Read more →

The Body as Archive

Trying to become a public historian and freelance writer in grad school is requiring me to walk a difficult tightrope. I want to be as authentic as humanly possible, but I’m also a professor-in-training; I don’t want to put anything out into the world that I would have trouble explaining to a hiring committee, to… Read more →

Frozen Pipes on the Prairie

By Carolyn Herbst Lewis

We don’t have water. The pipes running through our walls are dry. I discovered this situation nine mornings ago. I woke to visit Aunt Nellie, as my great aunt would say, and, after contemplating the meaning of life, I rose, I flushed, and I washed my hands. Except where water once flowed at my beck and call, now there was none. By the end of the day, the plumbers would deliver the verdict: no water was reaching our meter, and there was no break in any of the lines. After two bouts with the polar vortex, the temps of the previous few days, hovering right around the zero mark, had allowed the frost layer to reach deeper than it had ever been. Roughly three times deeper, in the estimation of the local farmers. Somewhere along the eighty feet of pipe running between our meter and the city main (most probably the section that had been repaired last summer and thus is now sitting in disturbed earth, but no one can say for sure without exploratory digging), there is a freeze. All we can do is hope for a thaw.