This is a memoir written by a Protestant midwife, Catharina Schrader, who lived in Germany during the 1600s. It offers an important window into the daily lives and life cycles of non-elite women living in early modern Europe.
Lais are short, poetic romances written during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. These stories were written and shared orally among nobility. Click on the image of writing to read an excerpt from the lai entitled Le Fresne. You also see an image of the author, Marie de France. Marie de France (Marie of France) was literate, not uncommon among women of her class, but she was... Read More »
Florence Farmborough was an English nurse working on the Russian front during World War I. Her diary contains many descriptive, lively accounts of the war and the very active role played by women, both in the traditional role as caretakers of the wounded, but also as fighters.
This photograph presents a very different vision of foot binding from that depicted by Western observers in the 19th century. Whereas Western visitors to China seemed most interested in the bound foot unbound, as deformity or fetish, this photo shows the bound foot as it had meaning in Chinese culture: as part of clothing or fashion. In this image, “small feet” are put into their proper... Read More »
Eugenics, defined as controlled human reproduction based on notions of desirable and undesirable populations or genotypes, have gained attention predominantly in the context of European fascist regimes that aimed at eliminating or controlling populations. Hitler’s campaign to eliminate Jews is perhaps the best known case in recent history. The concept of eugenics, however, has (re-)appeared in... Read More »