Category: Reviews

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Feminism, Mental Health, and Musicals Meet on the Boob Tube

Yet another school year has come to a close. Perhaps you’ve just finished your comprehensive exams or defended a dissertation (if this is you, congrats!). Maybe your vacation approaches. Network TV shows are finishing up their seasons, and you’re looking for some new thing to watch while they’re on hiatus. It may be the perfect… Read more →

Back in the Narrative: Hamilton as a Model for Women’s History

Last September, the soundtrack of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-nominated Hamilton: An American Musical became available online to Americans everywhere, and history changed. All right, that might be a strong claim — after all, it’s just a Broadway musical, 47 tracks following the life of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, a hip-hop reinterpretation of U.S. History. But the… Read more →

“Serving the People”: A Review of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

As singer Beyoncé and her team of black beret and leather-sporting background dancers reminded viewers during the Super Bowl halftime show, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. In October 1966, Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton began working on building an armed self-defense organization to… Read more →

Netflix’s Jessica Jones as a Story of Resiliency

Modern television is not known for its nuanced portrayal of rape and sexual violence. Much of the recent discussion about depictions of rape on television has focused on Game of Thrones, HBO’s massively popular television series based on a series of novels by George R.R. Martin. Game of Thrones has been criticized for its on-screen… Read more →

The Other Side of Choice, a Review of Independent LensNo Más Bebés

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with contemporary American culture likely understands that female fertility has been a hotly contested, and highly politicized, issue for over forty years. Typically, these discussions revolve around abortion. There is, however, another side to reproductive choice: the right to reproduce. It is this often overlooked aspect of “a woman’s… Read more →

The Young and the Gangrenous

Bandages, Blood, and Bickering, Oh My! A Civil War is brewing within the walls of Mansion House Hospital, the setting of the new PBS drama Mercy Street. Taking a page from the highly regarded Downton Abbey, the producers have created a Civil War soap opera with a cavalcade of characters that spend most of their… Read more →

New York, 60 Years Later: Sexual Health and Coming of Age in The Bell Jar and Netflix’s Master of None

Master of None, the new Netflix TV show created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang (best known for their work on NBC show Parks and Recreation), has created a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. Ansari and Yang’s show is insightful and original, and benefits from its diverse cast of characters and willingness to depict… Read more →

Clio Flicks: A Vote for Suffragette

Full disclosure: I have been waiting for a decent film about the women’s suffrage movement for years. As a historian of women and gender, I am accustomed to disappointment when it comes to the portrayals of women on screen. Films about women’s struggles are few and far between. Even when the male-dominated industry does attempt… Read more →

Elizabeth Blackwell in the Digital World

You’ve probably heard of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, but did you know that Dr. Blackwell came from a most extraordinary and progressive family? The Schlesinger Library at Harvard University recently announced the completion of a digitization project aimed at providing online access to approximately 120,000… Read more →

Surviving While Black in America: A Review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me

One of the products of Americans’ growing consciousness around racism and the police killings of African Americans is the conversation about the “talk” that African American parents conduct with their sons and daughters. I do not recall my mother and father engaging me in a specific conversation, but rather a series of conversations about navigating… Read more →