Katelyn Smith

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Teaching Summer School Students

This summer I am helping to teach a university-level class on the history of medicine in America. Such a broad class necessitates large topics for each session such as “hospitals,” “disease,” and “diagnosis.” The class is small, fourteen students, and is largely composed of advanced high school students around age...


A New Way To Display Material Culture

While our way of arranging objects has changed over time, people’s fascination with things has always led to displays of material culture. During the Renaissance, wealthy men in Europe curated “cabinets of curiosities,” (also called Wunderkammer, or Cabinets of Wonder) usually full of findings from the natural world such as...


Revisiting the History of Oral Contraceptives

Women’s health is a crucial part of women’s history, and the birth control pill represents a technology that has changed the lives of women internationally since its creation. After initially coming on the market in the 1960s, oral contraceptives quickly became a bestseller throughout the United States. In America, the...


Still Our Bodies, Still Ourselves: American Women’s Health Activism Today

Donald Trump became the American president-elect on November 9th, and since then, American national news coverage has continued to document his cabinet picks and planned policies for office. However, beginning during the election campaign, a strong vocal protest to his presidency resounded from feminists. During the election season, Trump made...


Collaboration and Creation: The Research Process

The stories historians tell are never pre-determined, but emerge organically from the research process. While we aim to read and interpret as many primary sources and as much of the secondary literature as possible, there is always the potential that sources are missing, or that our interpretation runs counter to...


Gertrude Stein: More Than a Literary Eccentric

According to scholar Michael Hoffman, Gertrude Stein is considered by most people to be the “chief modern literary eccentric.” Although a prolific early 20th century author, Stein is known more as a personality of her time than specifically as a writer. However, her sometimes overlooked writings offer insight into her...


Objectionable Injection? Views of the Contraceptive Depo-Provera

Beginning in the early 20th century, leaders in the population control movement reported the world was experiencing a ‘population explosion’ in the poorest nations, and looked to contraceptive technology to limit fertility. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new form of contraception gained increasing public attention. Depot medroxyprogesterone...