Women's Health & Hygiene in Early America
Dr. Kathleen M. Brown, Historian, Author, & Professor- University of Pennsylvania
- Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America
Dr. Kathleen M. Brown is a historian of gender and race in early America and the Atlantic World. Educated at Wesleyan and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she is author of Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill, 1996) and Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (Yale, 2009). Foul Bodies received the Organization of American Historians' Lawrence Levine Book Prize for cultural history and the Society of the History of the Early American Republic Book Prize. Foul Bodies explores the relationships among health, domestic labor, and ideals for beauty, civilization, and spiritual purity during the period between Europe's Atlantic encounters and the American Civil War. Brown is also author of numerous articles and essays. She has been a fellow of the Omohundro Institute for Early American Studies at the College of William and Mary, the American Antiquarian Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. She was recently a Guggenheim Fellow (2015-2016).
Nicholas A. Bonneau, Consulting scholar for exhibits- Mutter Research Institute of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Principal historian- Arch Street Project, & Ph.D. Candidate - University of Notre Dame
- “Afraid to be Alone in the Dark”: The Hidden Fragility of Family Life in Colonial New England
Nicholas E. Bonneau is a historian of science, religion, and the environment, with a particular interest in the memory of epidemics among families, congregations, and small communities. He has held fellowships at a wide range of institutions, including the National Science Foundation, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Congregational Library and Archives, and was the 2016-17 Carpenter Fellow in Early American Religious Studies at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Nick currently serves as a consulting scholar for exhibits at the Mutter Research Institute of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and is the principal historian of the Arch Street Project. A Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Notre Dame and Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania, his dissertation, “Unspeakable Loss, Distempered Awakenings: North America’s Invisible Throat Distemper Epidemics, 1735 – 1765,” is scheduled for defense in summer 2018.
Clarissa F. Dillon, Independent Historian & Interpreter
- “To friendless Pain unhop'd-for Ease to give...”: Housewives & Their Medicines in the 18th Century
Clarissa F. Dillon earned her doctorate in History from Bryn Mawr College and has been involved in "living history" since 1973. An historian, demonstrator, interpreter and teacher, she brings wide-ranging research, hands-on experience, and careful documentation into publications and presentations on 18th-century housewifery. She edited and self-published an 18th-century manuscript collection of medicinal receipts and will have some of her published research available for purchase during the symposia.
Nancy V. Webster, Independent Historian & Interpreter
- The Role of the Midwife in Early America
Nancy V. Webster earned her BA from Harvard and a double masters from William and Mary in American studies and Museum Curatorship. As an independent scholar she has been researching and interpreting Mid-Atlantic colonial women and medicine since the 1960s and is currently translating from German an 18th-century midwifery book originating in Reading, PA.