Tag Archives: disability

Jane Roe & The Pill


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In the third episode in our series on women’s reproductive rights in America, we finally get to two of the most important turning points in our story: the invention of the hormonal birth control pill, and the Roe v. Wade case in 1973. The mid 20th century saw some critical turning points for women’s reproductive rights, but also created lasting political divides and moral dilemmas. Join Elizabeth and Sarah as they continue the conversation.

Show Notes & Further Reading 

Baker, Jean H. Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2011).

Faux, Marian. Roe v Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmart Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal (New York: Cooper Square Press, 1988).

Gibbs, Nancy. “The Pill at 50: Sex, Freedom and Paradox,” Time, April 22, 2010.

Gibson, Megan. “One Factor That Kept the Women of the 1960s Away from Birth Control Pills: Cost,” Time, June 23, 2015.

Hubbard, Ruth. “Abortion and Disability: Who Should and Who Should Not Inhabit the World?” in The Disability Studies Reader, Davis, Lennard J., ed., (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2003).

Kaplan, Laura. The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).

McFadden, Robert D. “Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, Is Dead at 69,” The New York Times, February 18, 2017.

Petchesky, Rosalind Pollack, “Fetal Images: The Power of Visual Culture in the Politics of Reproduction,” Feminist Studies 13 (1987).

Reagan, Leslie. Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America (Berkley: University of California Press, 2010).


Featured image derived from Griswold v Connecticut on PBS

Huddled Masses: Unwanted Immigrants in the Americas

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America prides itself on being a country of immigrants – after all, everyone in the United States is the descendant of an immigrant, whether forced and free, unless they are Native American. Americans believe that we offer a place of welcome so much that we emblazoned it onto the Statues of Liberty in the form of Emma Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, with those famous lines about the poor, tired, and huddled masses. But like most things in history, the real story is a lot more complicated. Join Averill, Marissa, and Sarah as they talk about the history of those who were turned away at the gates.

Show Notes & Further Reading: 

Baynton, Douglas. Defectives in the Land: Disability and Immigration in the Age of Eugenics. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Canaday, Margot. The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Canaday, Margot. “”Who is a Homosexual?”: The Consolidation of Sexual Identities in Mid-Twentieth-Century American Immigration Law.” Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 28, no. 2, 2003., pp. 351-386. 

Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health. Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.

Turner, Adam. “Paranoia on the Border: Immigration and Public Health.” Nursing Clio, July 2014.

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.