Being a white nurse in colonial Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) before World War II

Clement Masakure reflects on the history of the segregated nursing profession in Southern Rhodesia (colonial Zimbabwe) during the 1930s and 1940s. The colonial hospitals of Central and Southern Africa are an important space to analyse, among other things, the experiences … Continue reading

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Carers, Citizens, Commodities: Australian Mothering Past and Present

Caitlin Adams reviews a recent symposium offering historical and contemporary perspectives towards mothering and motherhood in Australia. On the first day of the Australian Mothering in Contemporary and Historical Perspective Symposium, held at The University of Melbourne between February 15 … Continue reading

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Shame: A Transnational History of Women Policing Women

Sharon Crozier-de Rosa reflects on her latest book, Shame and the Anti-Feminist Backlash: Britain, Ireland and Australia, 1890-1920 (2018, Routledge). From the 1880s to the 1910s, novelist Marie Corelli reigned as ‘Queen of the Bestsellers’, far outselling any fellow authors … Continue reading

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Defending the Character and Conduct of Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1803

For International Women’s Day 2018, Shane Greentree explores how the the late-eighteenth-century press commemorated the legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft. The 1797 death of Mary Wollstonecraft and the furious response to her widower William Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication … Continue reading

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What I wish I’d known: PhD professionalisation

VIDA’s new advice series aims to offer practical advice to postgraduates and emerging scholars, and foster conversations within the community. If you would like to contribute to this series, or respond to any advice offered here, contact the managing editors.  Sophie Loy-Wilson … Continue reading

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Reproduction regulation, abortion and Indigenous women since the 1970s

Cassandra Byrnes explores the complex relationship between reproduction regulation, feminism and race in Australia since the 1970s. Tasmania’s primary surgical abortion service provider closed down in the first two weeks of 2018. This decision disproportionately affects pregnant people who cannot … Continue reading

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Contraception and reproduction in Australia’s past (or: please don’t try these methods at home)

Lisa Featherstone discusses contraception and reproduction in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australia, a period of high anxieties about national reproductive imperatives.   By the mid-1880s, the birth-rate had begun to fall across women from all classes in white Australian society. This was surprising, … Continue reading

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A pregnant pause? Filling in the history of pregnancy and dress

Catriona Fisk explores the material and visual record of fashions and dress for pregnant women across the nineteenth century. It is a fact generally acknowledged that pregnancy was a central component of women’s historical experiences. Just as widely accepted is … Continue reading

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Women’s ordination and the Anglican Church of Australia

As the Anglican Diocese of Perth welcomes its first female archbishop, Peter Sherlock reflects on the history of women’s ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia. On Saturday February 10, 2018, the Anglican Diocese of Perth will welcome Bishop Kay Goldsworthy … Continue reading

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The non-history of other births: molar pregnancy and early modern false conceptions

The VIDA blog reproduction series begins with Paige Donaghy’s exploration of how a history of early modern “other” births might create a better understanding of women’s varied experiences of pregnancy, past and present. In the sixteenth-century medical treatise On the … Continue reading

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