A History of Medicinal Cannibalism: Therapeutic Consumption of Human Bodies, Blood, & Excrement in “Civilized” Societies

Cannibalism gave imperial powers compelling justifications for their colonial endeavors; indigenous Americans and Australasians were backward, uncivilized, savage, and ritual cannibalism served as proof of their need for a guiding hand. But it’s not that easy. Why? Because right at the moment when Europeans were using cannibalism to demean indigenous Read more…

Tenth Street Baths

Steaming the “Nefarious Sin”: Bathhouses and Homosexuality from the Victorian Era to the AIDS Epidemic

When and where public baths have been popular, they’ve meant different things to different cultures. They might be sites for socializing, religious purification, spiritual/bodily cleanliness, relaxation/pampering, public health/hygiene, homosocialiality, and, of course, sex, or some combination of those things. At the start of the twentieth century, single-gender communal bathhouses were Read more…