On the table lies a dead man’s body. His stomach is empty, his brain is visible. Behind him stands a man, whose head is missing. His hands perform a section on the brain of the corpse. On the left stands a second person. He carefully follows the actions of the man behind the corpse. In […]
Tag: public history
Behind the meaning of loneliness
“The time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” Writer Douglas Coupland describes the feeling of loneliness in a striking way. It’s an emotion that every person has to deal with on an individual level. However, it’s also a collective emotion of the community. It gives […]
The (de)normalization of Zw*rte Piet in children’s toys
Our generation has the last active memory of the normalization of Zwarte Piet. I remember growing up and being completely oblivious to the historically racist character that Zwarte Piet portrayed. Zwarte Piet was an essential part of Sinterklaas and that was all I could see as a child. Nowadays I get extremely uncomfortable when I […]
Jaipur Foot: Moving the Boundaries of Medicine
Western medicine and science has been responsible for the saving and improving the lives of millions of people all around the world. The successes of Western medicine have led it to be viewed, at least here in the Western world, as superior to other forms of medicine and the only one to be practiced. But […]
The Prorace cervical cap: an object of early feminism or racial prejudice?
Going to the doctor or pharmacy to get contraceptives is a very natural thing to do today. A hundred years ago, this was not the case, as contraceptives were not widely accepted. Despite these circumstances, Marie Stopes opened the first (free) birth control clinic in London in 1921. The Mother’s Clinic gave women advice on […]
Corsets for Beer Bellies: Flatten Your “Danger Curve” With a Health Belt!
Today, influencers like the Kardashians peddle ‘waist-trainers’ and similar items that claim not only to reduce your waist, but help you lose weight or even achieve a six-pack; all while you sit at your desk. They are far from the first to recommend products like this: similar garments were advertised all over the place during the twentieth century. These descendants of the corset claimed to do much more heavy lifting than their predecessors. The corset may be one of the most famous items of clothing from western fashion history, but it is usually associated with women. What not many people know, is that men wore them too! So what did men’s corsets look like, and why does this piece of fashion history get so little mention?
A never ending obsession for beauty
She was once considered the most beautiful woman of the 19th century: Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known by the wider public as ‘Sisi.’ With hair down to her feet, a waist of 50 centimeters and the tall height of 172 centimeters, she stood out amongst her contemporaries and her physique gained an immense popularity […]
Pennyroyal: from ancient Greek theatre to TikTok
By Hanna Jaspers Besides the famous Nirvana song Pennyroyal tea, pennyroyal did not mean much to me two weeks ago. As you might know, Kurt Cobain sings movingly: “Sit and drink Pennyroyal Tea. Distill the life that’s inside of me.” Kurt Cobain refers to the fact that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, […]
TB-huts: the tiny houses of a century ago
If you were looking to book a weekend away in the last two years, you have probably considered a tiny house. But have you heard of it’s predecessor, the TB-hut? These small houses were very popular in the 19th and 20th century. However, they were made for a very different purpose. “Exactly as they were […]
Please think of the children!
Throughout history humanity has had to face numerous threats to its existence. While many of these were man-made, mother nature itself can be a cruel mistress indeed. Perhaps there is not a more common or longstanding danger to humanity as the everlasting threat of disease. While nowadays it is relatively easy to teach people how […]