Category: Features

Death by Proxy: What Twentieth-Century Infant Mortality Discourses in Brazil Can Tell Us About COVID-19

When the global death toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic surpassed one million in late September, the United States and Brazil registered the world’s two highest death counts. In the wake of this grim milestone, media outlets in both countries circulated various analogies to make sense of the scale of human loss. In Brazil, one… Read more →

Alone, Together: Memory and Death in a Pandemic

“You’re lucky, then, that your mom died before all this began,” my friend said. “At least you got to be there. At least you got a funeral.” However starkly her words hung between us, I knew she was right. As shattering as it was when my mom died in Tucson four days before my sister’s… Read more →

Rethinking Women, Gender, and War: A Feminist Approach

These four pathbreaking essays provide new insights into the role of women and war in military history. They pay particular attention to the impact of gendered assumptions on military practices and institutions in various sites and times around the world. Natalie Shibley highlights the difficulties women have fitting into the military, whether dealing with inappropriate… Read more →

It Just Wasn’t a Good Fit

Charity Adams Earley’s winter coat didn’t fit. At the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1942, women had been issued winter overcoats designed for enlisted men. Earley’s coat was too short in the arms, but many other Army women found their coats too large. And, although Earley was training to… Read more →

Writing “Hearts and Minds” as Feminist Military History

I was very proud to defend my dissertation on the British Indian Army on March 8 – International Women’s Day – until one of my advisors noted (lovingly) that there were “hardly any women in it.” She pointed out (and implicitly criticized) what is the troublingly common assumption – that of course stories about wars… Read more →

Beyond Women and War: The Lens of Feminist Military History

My first understandings of feminist military history developed when I was an officer in the US Air Force in the 1990s. I had long been interested in “women and war” as a compelling topic. I even taught a course on the subject in the 1990s as a faculty member at the US Air Force Academy…. Read more →

The Guerrilla Household of Lizzie and William Gregg

Taking a feminist lens to the Civil War in Missouri–known for its models of hypermasculinity like William Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Frank and Jesse James, Cole Younger, and William H. Gregg–it becomes readily apparent that white women were as married to the war as their Confederate menfolk. Lizzie Hook, a young woman from a slaveholding… Read more →

The Fifth Vital Sign: How the Pain Scale Fails Us

Last October, I slumped in a chair at the doctor’s office while a nurse asked me if I felt any pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I wrinkled my forehead, and responded, “Is exhaustion painful?” I, like most others, often experience less than ideal sensations. From a broken arm when I was three… Read more →

Post-Pandemic Architecture Needs to Be Healthier

As an architecture student, I’d normally be building a model in my studio on campus right now. Instead, six months into quarantine, I’m still sitting in my makeshift home office worrying about my friends and family. The death toll climbs every day and my mom, who has an autoimmune disorder, is in the high-risk population…. Read more →

Bodies in the Way: Delhi’s Dead and the Pressures of Space

In 1930, Delhi’s residents were sorely in need of a new hospital. The city’s population had ballooned by more than 30% over the previous decade, but its infrastructure had failed to keep pace.1 The overburdened Civil Hospital warned that it was struggling to provide care to twice as many patients as it was designed to… Read more →