Kurt Freund: The Beginning of the End of ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ in the 1950s

In the 1950s, many psychiatrists thought that homosexuality could be reformed. Czech psychiatrist Kurt Freund found that it couldn’t – and his discoveries led to a change in the law.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Charlie Williams, Dr. Sarah Marks, and Dr. Daniel Pick / 09.20.2018 Williams: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden Persuaders Project Marks: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden[…]

Magnus Hirschfeld: Early 20th Century Trans-Rights Activist

Magnus Hirschfeld, on the right, sits with his partner, Tao Li, at the fourth conference of the World League for Sexual Reform in 1932. / Wellcome Images Physician Magnus Hirschfeld advocated for those he called ‘sexual intermediaries.’ His activism began before World War I – and ended only when the Nazis came to power. By Dr. Elizabeth Heineman / 11.09.2018 Professor of[…]

Children as Victims of Anti-Vaxxers in 19th-Century Britain

In the 1850s, smallpox vaccination became compulsory in Britain. But the influence of anti-vaccination campaigners meant outbreaks were still possible – as one teenage girl found out to her cost. By Anna Faherty / 07.20.2017 Associate Lecturer University of the Arts London Gloucester, 1896. Ethel Cromwell is taken ill at the height of Britain’s last great smallpox[…]

A Tradesman Forced to Confront the Pestilence in 17th-Century London

A combination of poverty and “plague orders” in 1665 trapped many in situations that meant almost certain infection and death. Weaver John New, like many confined with dying relatives, was denied the escape routes open to the rich. By Anna Faherty / 06.22.2017 Associate Lecturer University of the Arts London The City of London, 1665. As the[…]

“La Parisienne” of Ancient Minoa: Mortal or Goddess?

Woman or goddess (“La Parisienne”) from the Camp-Stool fresco, c.1350 B.C.E., western wing of the palace at Knossos, buon fresco, 20 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion) Whatever her original meaning, La Parisienne is an enduring testament to the skill of Minoan fresco painters. By Dr. Senta German / 08.14.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation[…]

The Snake Goddess of Ancient Minoa, an Enticing Mystery

Snake Goddess from the palace at Knossos, c. 1600 B.C.E., faience, 29.5 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, photo: Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0) What she meant to the Minoans who made her is not very well understood. By Dr. Senta German / 08.15.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford An Enticing[…]