I like to draw, paint, cook, garden, and think about the past. I also like to teach, such things as the history of women and gender, the history of sexuality, the history of medicine, and US history more generally. My first story (“Nurse Gordon on Trial: Those Early Days of the Birth Control Clinic Movement Reconsidered”) was published in the Journal of Social History in the fall of 2005. My first book, The Birth Control Clinic in a Marketplace World, was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2012 as part of its History of Medicine Series.
At its simplest, my book tells the story of Planned Parenthood from the clinic angle from the teens through the early 1970s. But it also describes the relationship the charity organization carved out with respect to the commercial contraceptive world, from door-to-door traveling peddlers to large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing houses, a story far more complex (and far more relevant) than has been previously imagined.
Now that this project is done, however, I have begun to move on to other things. Of late this seems to be a preoccupation with Dr. Robert L. Dickinson (1861-1950) -- gynecologist, sexologist, and artist extraordinaire -- and the hugely influential Birth Series sculptures he created in 1939 with fellow artist Abram Belskie. Together, I am beginning to realize, they created quite a stir the effects of which still ripple in reproductive politics today.
The Birth Control Clinic in a Marketplace World (University of Rochester Press, 2012). URP's History of Medicine Series.
“The Dickinson-Belskie Birth Series Sculptures: The Rise of Modern Visions of Pregnancy, the Roots of Modern Pro-Life Imagery, and Dr. Dickinson's Religious Case for Abortion,” Journal of Social History 51:4 (June 2018): 980-1022.
“‘Art in the Service of Medical Education:’ The 1939 Dickinson-Belskie Birth Series and the Use of Sculpture to Teach the Process of Human Development from Fertilization Through Delivery,” in Models, Modelling: The Body in Art, Anatomy and Medicine since c. 1800, edited by Andrew Graciano (forthcoming, Routledge).
“Why the Classroom is a Sacred Place for Me and Why I'll Keep Venturing Out Into 'No-Man's Land'...Even During these Abortion Wars,” The American Historian (February 2017).
“Nurse Gordon on Trial: Those Early Days of the Birth Control Clinic Movement Reconsidered,” Journal of Social History 39:1 (Fall 2005): 112-140.
WMNS 101 (Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies)
HIST 201 (America to 1877); now called HIST 110
HIST 202 (America after 1877); now called HIST 111
HIST/WMNS 204 (Women and Gender in US History)
HMED 397 (Directed Experiences in Health Care)
WMNS 400 (Senior Seminar)
HIST/WMNS 4/802 (History of Sexuality in 19th and 20th Century America)
WMNS 4/885 (Feminist Theories, Feminists' Perspectives)
Awards & Honors
- Harvard University’s Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine for “Dr. Robert L. Dickinson and the Making of a Modern Pro-Life Nation,” 2015-16.
- UNL's College of Arts & Sciences ENHANCE Grant for “Dr. Robert L. Dickinson and the Making of a Modern Pro-Life Nation,” 2015.
- Humanities Nebraska Grant for “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” 2014.
- UNL's College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, Spring 2012.
- Nebraska Arts Council Grant for the “No Limits Conference,” 2007.
- Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Fellowship for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1998-99.
- UIUC History Department Fellowship for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1997.
- American Institute for the History of Pharmacy Dissertation Research Grant for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1997.
- Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College Dissertation Research Grant for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1997.
- Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Dissertation Research Grant for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1997.
- UIUC Women’s Studies Grant for Feminist Scholarship for “The Birth Control Clinic,” 1996.