Query: Primary sources on history of women’s health

Dear friends and colleagues:

I need to ask your help with some primary sources.  I just agreed — at the last minute — to teach a senior seminar this coming spring and would like the topic to be women’s health since we are starting a women’s health initiative at Rutgers in the spring of 2013.  The format of the class is such that students are required to work with primary source materials and write a 20 page research paper.  This probably means online since I can’t just assume that students can make it to archives and libraries in NYC or Philadelphia.  Any suggestions for collections?  Collected printed editions will also work.  Any suggestions?  At the moment I will take any topic in women’s health — just want to make sure there is enough out there.  Note, this is not an honors seminar — we are “only” talking about a 20 page paper for history majors.

Thanks for your help.  Best, Johanna

Johanna Schoen
Assoc. Prof.
Department of History
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
Rutgers University

Hi Johanna,
By “primary source” are you only counting original documents (or digital facsimiles) and not published primary sources?  I have an extensive list of mostly primary sources that I give as a finding aid to students in my “History of Women in Science and Medicine” class—going back to Antiquity and the Middle Ages (in English translation, of course).  I’ll be glad to send it along.  Can’t guarantee, obviously, that all these items will be available in your library, but it may be helpful as a start.
As for online archives, I’ll let others speak up since they probably have more links readily to hand.  I’ve made frequent use of the “In Their Own Words” archive on AIDS research at the NIH that Victoria Harden put together some years ago:  http://history.nih.gov/nihinownwords/.  There’s more on women in there than you might expect, given how long it took for women to be formally recognized in AIDS epidemiology.  In fact, there’s pretty damning proof there that they recognized women’s susceptibility right from the start.
Monica H. Green
Professor of History
School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies
Box 874302
975 S. Myrtle Ave
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287-4302

Hello! It’s true, I’m in NJ, though so far I haven’t had a chance to explore local archives. (Karen, that list is inspiring!) While I was at Wellesley, though, I taught a class on the history of sex/sexuality/childbirth, and asked students to find on-line sources, preferably freely available, in which they found documents relevant to women’s experiences of sex/sexuality/childbirth. I have a compilation of what the students found, and I can email it to you off-line, as well as the assignments.  (The size limit on messages on WHOM is small enough that I can’t even cut and paste it in without running over.  If anyone else is interested, I’d be happy to also forward the docs to you off of the list.)  I found that asking them to find their own archives was actually very inspiring. When they did the final assignment, in which they worked closely with a single document, they often went back to something they had found themselves.



Dear Johanna,

Here are some digital/online sources that could be useful:
For the history of pregnancy test:   http://www.history.nih.gov/exhibits/thinblueline
For Medicine and Advertisements:   http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman/  (scroll down right side to “Medicine and Madison Avenue” for 600 ads dealing with health issues between 1911 and 1958).
The NIH and FDA have pretty good websites as well.  Good luck with the new course!
Simone Caron
The Wellcome Library http://library.wellcome.ac.uk, is indeed an
excellent resource, and I would draw particular attention to the C17th
domestic recipe and remedy manuscripts which have been digitised and are
freely available online: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/node9300909.html
Lesley Hall

Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Job Announcement: Wellesley College

While this position is obviously not history of medicine, I thought I
would post here in case any of you have colleagues/friends who might
find this appropriate.  Thanks. Susan

Job Title:    Assistant Professor—Women and Gender Studies

Position type:  Faculty

Department:  Women’s and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Wellesley College invites
applications for a tenure-track, beginning assistant professor in
migration and transnationalism to start in the fall, 2013.  We seek a
social scientist (or training in a related field) whose research and
teaching utilizes qualitative or quantitative methods. Priority will
be given to scholars whose work is non-US based.  The successful
candidate will teach a 2/2 load that includes introduction to women’s
and gender studies, globalization and migration, global feminisms, in
addition to courses in the new faculty member’s specific area.
Demonstrated teaching ability, commitment to undergraduate women’s
education, and a developed research agenda are expected. Our
department is interdisciplinary, has its own faculty, and attracts a
large number of Wellesley students to its courses and major/minor.
PhD preferred (ABD considered). We are dedicated to building a
culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty. Candidates should through
their teaching, scholarship, or service demonstrate a commitment to
building a diverse community.

A statement of teaching and research interests should be included in
the cover letter;  CV, a writing sample and three letters of
recommendation are required (The online application will request
names/email addresses so that recommenders or dossier services may
submit the letters directly). Materials should be submitted through
the online application system at https://career.wellesley.edu. All
materials must be submitted by the closing date of November 15th to be
considered.   If there are difficulties submitting on line, please
contact working@wellesley.edu.  For more information on the
department, see:  http://www.wellesley.edu/WomenSt/.

Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Call for Presenter on William Hinton

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is looking for a speaker to celebrate the centennial of syphilologist William Hinton.  Here is the email I received from them. If anyone has worked on Hinton and is interested, please contact Dr. Al DeMaria at the State Health Department (alfred.demaria

@state.ma.us)  Thanks.

We would be looking for a speaker who could recount aspects of the life and career of William Hinton and put them in context.  We are putting together an exhibit on this from available information and some of the material we hold, like Hinton’s correspondence within the Department of Public Health and his books.  The presentation would deal with the impact of racism on his career or his contribution to the diagnosis and management of syphilis, or better yet, both.  It would probably have to be someone within a 500 mile radius.  At the opening of the State Lab in 1974, Vernal Cave, who was then President of the NMA, spoke from personal acquaintance with Hinton, but such acquaintances are no longer available.

Susan M. Reverby
Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas
Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
Wellesley College
on sabbatical 2012-13

Published in: on September 6, 2012 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  

New Book: Active Bodies

Dear WHOM colleagues:

I am pleased to inform you that my book was published a couple months ago. Title is Active Bodies: A History of Women’s Physical Education in Twentieth-Century America. See the link at OUP’s website. The cover alone will stir up many memories of gym class!

Plus, here is the citation for a (fairly) recent article: Verbrugge, “Recreation and Racial Politics in the Young Women’s Christian Association of the United States, 1920s-1950s,” International Journal of the History of Sport 27, no. 7 (May 2010): 1191-1218.

Martha H. Verbrugge
Professor of History
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Email: martha.verbrugge@bucknell.edu

Published in: on September 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment