Saturday, October 15, 2016
October 15-16, 2016: Layne Craig’s When Sex Changed
[On October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger opened her first birth control clinic in New York City. So this week, on the 100th anniversary of that moment, I’ve AmericanStudied Sanger and other histories and images connected to this still-controversial subject. Leading up to this special weekend post highlighting a great scholarly book on the topic by a former colleague!]
When I started planning a series on birth control, I knew I’d want to highlight Layne Parish Craig’s When Sex Changed: Birth Control Politics and Literature between the World Wars (Rutgers University Press, 2013). I was fortunate enough to have Craig as a colleague at Fitchburg State University for one year, before she returned to Texas where she’s now on the faculty at Texas Christian University. But even if I had never met Craig and didn’t know that she’s as impressive of a teacher and colleague as she is a scholar, I’d still find her book one of the best I’ve encountered on not just Margaret Sanger and her issues and era, but on how literature and culture reflect and engage with and complicate those historical and political conversations. The Modernist era was one in which so, so much changed in the U.S. and around the world, yet Craig’s book make a convincing case that no change was more momentous and wide-reaching than that captured in Sanger’s 1916 clinic and its many aftermaths. If you want to learn and think more about that moment, that era, and all the issues I’ve engaged with this week (among many others), Craig’s book is a perfect next step.
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Other birth control histories or images you’d highlight?