By Tiana Wilson Many recent studies on chattel slavery in the Atlantic World have decentered the voices of the colonizers in an effort to creatively reimagine the inner lives of Black people, both enslaved and “free.” However, narrating the complex ways race, gender, and sexuality played out in a colonial setting beyond violence has proven […]
By Jesse Ritner The easy correlation contemporary American and British cultures build from sex to pregnancy, pregnancy to birth, and birth to childrearing within a nuclear family is far from uniform throughout history. Mother is not an identity. Not all women will mother during the course of their lives. In Sarah Knott’s words, “mother is […]
by John Carranza Clare Sears, associate professor of sociology at San Francisco State University, explores cross dressing and its place in the formation of San Francisco as an urban center in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Sears uses codebooks, arrest records, and court reports to reconstruct the history of cross dressing in an urban setting. […]
by Alexander Taft In June 2015, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved decades of debate by declaring marriage a fundamental right regardless of sexual orientation. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision changed the landscape of American marriage law, but what was this landscape in the first place? […]
Our featured author this month, Hanan Hammad, received her PhD in History at UT Austin in 2009. She is now Assistant Professor of History at Texas Christian University and we are proud to introduce you to her excellent new book. by Hanan Hammad Millions of Egyptian men, women, and children first experienced industrial work, urban […]
By Ben Weiss A recent piece in The Economist claims that, “One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widespread. You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a […]
By Christopher Babits Good historians keep an open mind when doing archival research. Our reading of the relevant literature, not to mention the preliminary research we conduct, provides a general understanding of our topic, but we have to prepare ourselves for surprises. This is the most exciting part of research — examining documents no one […]
By Augusta Dell’Omo For Judith Herman, “to study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events.” A professor of clinical psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School and a founding member of the Women’s Mental Health Collective, Herman is best known for her research on complex post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly with victims of sexual and domestic […]
A number of people suggested books about crossing borders: about people traveling or emigrating to countries foreign to them or about people creating new hybrid identities in the places they lived. Since they don’t fit into our usual geographical categories –and raise interesting questions about those categories — we are lumping them together here in Crossing Borders.
This case, this story, and the black woman at the heart of it forces us to move past binary notions of race, gender, and sexuality but also, too, it resists snap judgments about who exactly is good or evil and calls into question the validity of standard notions of justice.