Category: History

“I Would Just Want To Fly”: Lydia Pinkham, Women’s Medicine, and Social Networks

“I had been completely run-down. I would try to do my housework and could not. I would want to just fly, if only I could. I would lie down but wasn’t satisfied there and would have to get up and do whatever I could to content myself.” So wrote Mrs. Dora Sanders of 112 West… Read more →

Making WIC Work

I can spot a WIC participant from three checkout lanes away. There is usually a growing line of unsuspecting shoppers lined up behind her while the cashier slowly rings up the carefully organized items. She has separated her food into little piles because she happens to live in a state that still uses a paper… Read more →

Being the Same and Different

This time last year, I’d just returned from three months at the University of Vienna being the Käthe Leichter visiting professor in Gender Studies and Women’s Studies. This position, much like Iris Andraschek’s installation Der Muse Reicht’s, which dominates the inner courtyard of the main campus there, indicates the strides that gender studies has made… Read more →

The International History of Women’s Medical Education: What Does Imperialism Have To Do With It?

For the past several years, this 1885 photograph of three medical students who attended the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) has been circulating around the Internet. The students pictured above are, from left to right, Anandibai Joshee, Keiko Okami, and Sabat Islambooly (whose name is misspelled in the original text accompanying the photograph). Because… Read more →

Crimes Never Committed: Thoughts on The Imitation Game

Spoiler Alert: This isn’t exactly a movie review (if you’d like one, I recommend Alex von Tunzelmann’s review in The Guardian) but it may give away elements of the film. Be forewarned. If you watch The Imitation Game, the Oscar-nominated biopic, you’ll learn that Alan Turing betrayed his country when blackmailed by a Soviet spy… Read more →

Tuning In for Public Health: The Promise of Televised Health Education in 1950s America

During a recent well-child check up, the nurse asked how much television my son watched. Although not common a generation ago, this question is now part of the routine examination. Along with asking about our kids’ diets and daily exercise, we are also asked about their television viewing habits. There seems to be a general consensus… Read more →

Women in Tech from ENIAC to MOM

On September 24, as I enjoyed my second coffee of the morning and caught up on news, a photo caught my eye. In the image, women in colorful saris congratulated each other amidst massive computer monitors. The exuberance of the photo arrested me — as did the obvious techy setting, nerd that I am —… Read more →

George Washington’s Bodies

Many Americans could tell you that George Washington was tall and that he had false teeth. Why? Although he is disembodied in national symbols such as the portrait on the one dollar bill and the massive obelisk and the capital city that bear his name, Americans are no strangers to George Washington’s body. The history… Read more →

The Paralympics, Past and Present

I probably don’t need to tell you that the 2014 Winter Olympics captured the attention of millions of people in the United States and around the world. To miss the inundation of ads, highlights, and medal updates you’d have to have avoided television, radio, and the Internet for much of February. But fewer people are likely aware… Read more →

Disability, Responsibility, and the Veteran Pension Paradox

By Guest Author

Recently, NPR reporter Quil Lawrence presented a radio series in which he profiled veterans who received other-than-honorable discharges from the military after violating rules of conduct, breaking the law, or getting in trouble with military authorities. Despite their service – including, for many, tours in active warzones – soldiers with so-called ‘bad paper’ are no longer considered veterans. As former Marine Michael Hartnett put it: “You might as well never even enlisted.”[1] Hartnett was given bad paper in 1993 when he began abusing drugs and alcohol – an attempt to self-medicate his undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans like Hartnett are no longer eligible to receive any of the veterans’ benefits they were promised when they enlisted.