Author Archives: Marissa C. Rhodes

Tuberculean Chic: How the White Plague Shaped Beauty Standards in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Marissa and Sarah discuss Georgians’ and Victorians’ love affair with Tuberculosis and the tuberculean aesthetic in fashion and art. In Georgian London, some diseases started to seem fashionable, desirable even. Gambling was popular, elites were using snuff and drinking spirits, powdering their hair, whitening their faces with toxic creams, damaging their bodies with restrictive clothes and hairstyles. Ladies of fashion were perceived to be particularly vulnerable to disease and this made them even more attractive. This is the context where tuberculosis first began shaping beauty standards. The Victorians took this even further. Pre-Raphaelite painters, their models, and the discovery of the tubercle bacillus germ brought new classed and gendered meanings to the tuberculean chic.

A thank-you to Carolyn Day and Amelia Rauser whose work was invaluable in producing this episode.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Brandt, Chris. “Tuberculosis And Its Impact On Medicine, Research, And Fashion Trends.University Herald. 

Byrne, Katherine. Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Day, Carolyn A., and Amelia Rauser. 2016. “Thomas Lawrence’s Consumptive Chic: Reinterpreting Lady Manners’s Hectic Flush in 1794”. Eighteenth-Century Studies. 49, no. 4: 455-474.

Denoyelles, Adrienne. “Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free: Tuberculosis in Progressive Era New York City.” Nursing Clio. 

Dubos, René J., Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz, and Jean Dubos. The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man, and Society. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Fleming, R. S. “Victorian Feminine Ideal; about the perfect silhouette, hygiene, grooming, & body sculpting.”

Goetz, Thomas. “When TB Was a Death Sentence: An Excerpt From ‘The Remedy,’” The Daily Beast. 

Helsinger, Elizabeth. “Pre-Raphaelitism.” The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Felluga, Dino Franco, Pamela K. Gilbert and Linda K. Hughes (eds). Blackwell Publishing, 2015. Blackwell Reference Online. 07 April 2017.

Mullin, Emily. “How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion.” Smithsonian Magazine. 

Rothman, Sheila M. Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

 

 

 

Family Limitation in the Pre-Modern World

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In the wake of the Global Gag Rule that the U.S. President just issued in his first week in office, there is really no better time to start talking about the history of family limitation in all of its iterations across time and space – from various contraceptives invented by the ancient Egyptians to the many herbal remedies employed by midwives and women generally to “restore the menses” to a broader discussion of when and where states have attempted to control the reproductive feature of women’s bodies. This episode is just the first of many more to come addressing these very issues of women’s reproductive health and rights. Join Marissa and Averill as they dive into the wild, weird, and sometimes dangerous methods of family limitation in the pre-modern world.

Show Notes & Further Reading

Edwards,Stassa. “The History of Abortifacients.” Jezebel. 18 Nov 2014.

Biddlecom, Ann E. “Family Planning, Abortion, and Reproductive Health.” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

Brick, P. 2003. “The Encyclopedia of Birth Control, Edited by Vern L. Bullough”. JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH. 40: 315.

Hardacre, Helen. Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1999.

Hoffer, Peter Charles, and N. E. H. Hull. Murdering Mothers: Infanticide in England and New England, 1558-1803. New York: New York University Press, 1984.

James, Peter, and I. J. Thorpe. Ancient Inventions. 1994.

Poston, Dudley L. Fertility, Family Planning, and Population Policy in China. London: Routledge, 2006.

Riddle, John M. Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. 1992.

Unschuld, Paul, and Jinsheng Zheng. Chinese Traditional Healing (3 Vols.) The Berlin Collections of Manuscript Volumes from the 16th Through the Early 20th Century. Leiden: BRILL, 2012

Wiesner, Merry E. Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Zheng, Tiantian. Ethnographies of Prostitution in Contemporary China: Gender Relations, HIV/AIDS, and Nationalism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Immunizations and Anti-Vax Movements

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Vaccination has been a controversial subject and we tend to think that this is a new phenomenon. Proponents of vaccination blame anti-vax parents for the recent cropping-up of preventable (and formerly eliminated) diseases such as the NYC measles outbreak in 2014, and the return of Pertussis in 2015. While parents who oppose vaccination or those who believe in vaccine choice are suspicious of the CDC’s rigorous vaccine schedule, “Big Pharma,” and the possibility of vaccine injury due to questionable ingredients. But this is NOT new. Debate and conflict have existed around the use and efficacy of immunizations since the practice first came into use. This episode considers the history of immunization and its opponents.

Show Notes and Further Reading:

Arthur Boylston, “The Origins of Inoculation,” Journal of the Royal Society of MedicineJuly 2012

Daniel R. Bronfin, Childhood Immunization Controversies: What are Parents Asking?”, The Ochsner Journal, Fall 2008

Carole Emberton, “The Minister of Death,” The New York Times Opinionator BlogAugust 17, 2012

Amy Lynn Filsinger & Raymond Dwek,George Washington and the First Mass Military Inoculation,” The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

“History of Anti-Vaccination Movements,” The History of VaccinesJanuary 25, 2016

Humphries, Margaret. The Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2013).

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, “Vaccinations Have Always Been Controversial in America,” Time Magazine, July 31, 2015

Robert Middlekauff, The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Terry Reimer, “Smallpox and Vaccination in the Civil War,” The National Museum of Civil War Medicine November 9, 2004

Stefan Riedel, “Edward Jenner and the History of Smallpox and Vaccination,” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings January 2005

Mariana Zapata, “How Civil Wars Gave Themselves Syphilis While Trying to Avoid Smallpox,” Atlas ObscuraNovember 30, 2016.


Featured image: An 1802 illustration depicts Edward Jenner vaccinating a young woman. (National Museum of Medicine)

Jazz Cleopatra

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The dizzying and exciting Jazz Age – that glittering period between the end of World War I and the onset of the global Great Depression – is captured best by Europe’s most beloved American performer: Josephine Baker, the “Jazz Cleopatra.” Born in the Jim Crow South, Baker became the most famous performer of the age, beloved in Europe but largely rejected in her home country. Join Marissa, Sarah, and Averill as they talk about everything from sexy bananas to primitivism in an effort to better understand this modern Cleopatra and her age.

 


Show Notes and Further Reading

Patrick O’Connor. “Josephine Baker.” American National Biography Online

Schroeder, Alan and Heather Lehr Wagner. Josephine Baker: Entertainer. New York: Chelsea House, 2006, 81.

Jules-Rosette, Bennetta, Josephine Baker in Art and Life: The Icon and the Image. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007, 224.

Caravantes, Peggy. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2015, 151.

Wintz, Cary D. and Paul Finkleman, eds.. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance.  New York: Routledge, 2000.

Saunders, Thomas J. “The Jazz Age.” A Companion to Europe 1900–1945. Martel, Gordon (ed). Blackwell Publishing, 2005. Blackwell Reference Online. 16 June 2016

Woloch, Nancy. “The Changing Status of Women 1900–1950.” A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900–1950. Matthews, John T. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Blackwell Reference Online.

East St. Louis Riot

Cerchiari, Luca, Laurent Cugny, and Franz Kerschbaumer. Eurojazzland. Boston: Northwestern University Press, 2012.

Alicja Sowinska, “Dialects of the Banana Skirt

The Covert History of the American Condom

 Paul Gauguin and Primitivist Modernism or Pursuit of the “Natural”

America’s Second Great Awakening

Chances are, if you were an American with radical religious ideas, you came from Vermont, and you moved to the “Burned Over District” of New York. Join the History Buffs for Part I of a special three part series exploring America’s Second Great Awakening. In this episode Sarah, Marissa and Katie introduce the Second Great Awakening, and talk about some of the major movements of the period, including Joseph Smith and the Mormons.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Joseph Smith Welcome Center, Hill Cumorah

“The New York Period of the Mormon Church,” History of Mormonism

Crabtree, Adam. “Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism.” Occult World. Ed. by Christopher Partridge. London: Routledge, 2015.

“George Whitefield: Sensational Evangelist of Britain and America.” Christian History, August 8, 2008. Retrieved 24 March2016

Kidd, Thomas S. The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.

Juster, Susan. Doomsayers Anglo-American Prophecy in the Age of Revolution. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Purvis, Thomas. “Great Awakening, first.” A Dictionary of American History. Blackwell Publishing, 1997. Blackwell Reference Online. 19 May 2016

Purvis, Thomas. “Second Great Awakening.” A Dictionary of American History. Blackwell Publishing, 1997. Blackwell Reference Online. 19 May 2016.

Todras-Whitehill, Ethan. “Mormon Faith and Spectacle at Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, N.Y.New York Times. 27 July 2007.

Passing: Race, Disability, and Gender

What do Michael Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and a 17th-century Frenchman named Marin le Marci have to do with the debates about the North Carolina bathrooms bill? Marissa, Sarah, and Katie weave together a discussion of ways people have defied socially constructed systems of race, ability, and gender, and “passed” as something else.

**Correction: Sarah mentions “David Wilson” – she meant Daniel Wilson. (Sorry!)

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Applebaum, Yoni. “Rachel Dolezal and the History of Passing for Black.” The Atlantic (15 Jun 2015)

Bates, Karen Grigsby. “‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing in White America.” NPR (October 7, 2014)

Brune, Jeffrey, ed. Disability and Passing: Blurring the Lines of Identity

Carter, Julian B. The Heart of Whiteness Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1880-1940. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Daston, L., & Park, K. (1985). “Hermaphrodites in renaissance france.” Critical Matrix,1(5), 1.

Fikes, Robert. “The Passing of Passing: A Peculiarly American Racial Tradition Approaches Irrelevance.” blackpast.org

Haynes, Monica. “Passing: How Posing as White Became a Choice for Some Black Americans.” Pittsburgh Gazette (October 26, 2003). 

Laqueur, Thomas Walter. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1990.

 

Is that lamb made of…butter?!

If you live in the Rust Belt, you may have noticed that Easter brings not only jelly beans and chocolate bunnies to the grocery store but also boxes of butter molded into the shape of lambs.  Does it confuse you?  Do you eat it but have no idea why?  Join Tommy, Dan, and Marissa as they dig into the rollicking history of the butter lamb, just in time for Easter!

Don’t forget to enter to win the Butter Lamb T-shirt! Contest closes 26 March 2016 at 11:59PM EST.

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Show Notes and Further Reading

Abt, Christina. Chicken Wing Wisdom: Western New York Stories of Family, Life and Food Shared Around the Table. Buffalo, NY: Western New York Wares, 2005.

Division, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Shelton, Brenda K. Reformers in Search of Yesterday: Buffalo in the 1890’s. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1976.

Buffalo’s Broadway Market

Buffalo’s Polish Pioneers

Buffalo “Polonia” at the Turn of the Century

Butter Lambs are Polish Easter Tradition

Malczewski’s Easter Butter Lamb

The Emergence of Dairy Butter

The History of Butter Sculpture Is Strange, Indeed

 

 
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