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Exposed: The Hidden
History of the Pelvic Exam

Polity Books Publishing House


The pelvic exam. If you’ve ever had one, you’re probably already wincing. It might be considered a routine medical procedure, but for most of us, it is anything from unpleasant to traumatic. This powerful book reminds us that the pelvic exam is has never been “just” a medical procedure, and that we can no longer afford to let the pelvic exam remain unexamined.

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Coming Home

Oxford University Press


By the mid-twentieth century, two things appeared destined for extinction in the United States: the practice of home birth and the profession of midwifery. Who were these self-proclaimed midwives and how did they learn their trade?




Bodies of Knowledge

University of Chicago Press

Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, women argued that unless they gained access to information about their own bodies, there would be no equality. This argument paved the way for an important contribution to the study of the bodies—that marked the lives—of feminism’s second wave.


Building a Better Race

University of California Press


Analyzing a wide assortment of sources, including novels, women’s magazines, patient records, and scientific treatises, this book argues that eugenics has been central to modern ideas such as gender, sexuality, and the family.



“Psychedelic Birth: Bodies, Boundaries, and the Perception of Pain in the 1970s,”

Gender and History, Vol. 32 (1), pp. 70-85, March 2020.

“Back to Bed: From Hospital to Home Obstetrics in the City of Chicago,” Journal of
the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Vol. 73 (1), pp. 29-51, January 2018

“Communicating a New Consciousness: Countercultural Print and the Home Birth
Movement in the 1970s,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine vol 89, Fall 2015


“Writing Gender into Eugenics,” posted November 19, 2020, on H-Eugenics

"A Historian's Reflection on Music and Psychedelics"

posted December 17, 2020, on Chacruna


“COVID-19 Exposes the Need for Midwives,” Washington Post, May 5, 2020

“Why Rumors of a Royal Home Birth were Greeted

So Differently in the U.K. and the U.S.,” Washington Post, May 7 2019

“Trump’s Latest Assault on Women: Why Banning the CDC from using certain

words has major political ramifications,” Washington Post, December 18, 2017

“To Lower Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates, We Need More Midwives,”

Washington Post, January 16, 2019

“The Exam Room Controversy that Puts Women at Risk,”

Washington Post, June 1, 2018

"Simone Biles has Courageously Exposed the Blurred Line

Between Medicine and Abuse." Washington Post, July 29, 2021

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