The first blogs this month all had a distinctly icky, yet surprisingly timely, quality. "Bestiality in a Time of Small Pox" by Rob Boddice at Notches chronicles early anti-vaccination movements and how they reflect our current debates. Similarly, "Measles in History" by Lisa Smith at The Sloane Letters discusses current measles outbreaks in the context of the disease's deadly history. “Eat! Eat! Eat! Those Notorious Tapeworm Diet Pills” by Caroline Rance at The Quack Doctor investigates the myth of the tapeworm diet, showing how contemporary weight-loss obsessions are nothing new. Reading "Six Cold and Flu Medicines You're Not Taking Today (And For Good Reason)" by Maria Anderson at Smithsonian Science during cold and flu season has made us thankful for medical regulation.
The next group of blogs told stories about the complex intersection of sexuality and morality. "The King's Favourite: Sex, Money and Power in Medieval England" by Katherine Harvey at Notches describes in graphic detail the consequences of excessive "favoritism" in royal politics. To a similar end, "Mary Carleton, the Heroine Bigamist" at jliedl.ca talks about how a female commoner became notorious for her sexual and criminal exploits.
War and conflict was a topic that came up in several blogs. "France's Wars: The Vikings 793-1066" by Jack Le Moine at History Moments gave a sweeping account of the golden age of the Vikings. "Quakers and the Kindertransport" at The Iron Room discusses the efforts to save Jewish children in the early days of World War II. "We Must Forgive But We Won't Forget- The Treaty Debates in the Border Counties" by John Dorney at the Irish Story presents many perspectives on the conflict around the Irish Treaty of 1921. Finally, in "A Most Dangerous Rivalry" at The Sloane Letters, James Hawkes presents a fascinating story of doctors behaving badly in the 18th century in his dramatic telling of the personal conflict between Drs. Sloane and Woodward.
Two blogs talked about experiencing place and historical landscapes. In "What We Leave Behind" at Tracking William West Durant, author Sheila Myers' personal journey takes her to Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York where she reflects on the history of the rural cemetery movement. Also in New York, "Dam That Creek!- Erie Canal Dams of the Schoharie Creek" by David Brooks at Friends of Schoharie Crossing uses the remains of a local dam to tell an important story in regional history.
The final blogs deal with history as a profession. "How Historians Read Film (Part 1)" by Jason M. Kelly encourages students and viewers to think critically about film through a historical lens. In "Turning on the Microphone," Adolfo Mendez of Two Histories talks about the role of historians in society. "The Power of Story" by Brandy Schillace at Fiction Reboot/Daily Dose meditates on the importance of story and what it tell us about our own humanity. As museum professionals, we enjoyed Jai Virdi-Desi's photo essay "Fashion Victims" at From the Hands of Quacks, a review of a beautiful new exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum.
Thanks to everyone for submitting these great blog posts. We learned a lot! The next History Carnival will be at Unspoken Assumptions on March 1, 2015.