Nursing history books from the ECBCNHI library

Spring 2024 Nursing History Forums

February 20, 2024

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. (ET) on Zoom

“Filling the Unforgiving Minute with Sixty Seconds’ Worth of Distance Run: Barbara Fassbinder, Nursing, and AIDS in the U.S., 1986-1991”

Karissa Haugeberg, PhD

In 1986, Iowa nurse Barbara Fassbinder was one of the first health-care professionals in the U.S. to become infected with HIV on the job through a non-needlestick injury. In the aftermath, Fassbinder became a forceful advocate for mandatory glove policies and against mandatory HIV testing requirements. She also embarked on a speaking tour, focusing on conservative church congregations in the Midwest. Drawing on her identities as a nurse and a devout Catholic, Fassbinder worked to persuade religiously conservative audiences that homophobic responses to the HIV pandemic hampered public health and did not align with Christian traditions that emphasized compassion. Fassbinder’s experiences brings into focus how some nurses responded to medical distrust, misinformation, and homophobia during the 1980s.

KarissHistorian Karissa Haugeberga Haugeberg is an associate professor of history at Tulane University. Her first book, Women Against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century (Illinois, 2017), explored women’s participation as leaders and foot soldiers in the grassroots anti-abortion movement. Her current book project, “Nursing a Revolution,” explores the intersections between civil rights, feminism, and LGBTQ+ activism and the nursing profession in the U.S. since 1965. She has received support from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Newcomb Institute at Tulane University.

Neither the Colonizer Nor the Colonized: Thai Nursing Students in the Philippines and New England, 1920 - 1931"

Christine N. Peralta, PhD

March 12, 2024   12 - 1 p.m. on Zoom

What do we learn about nursing and the history of the U.S. empire from the perspective of Thai women, who were neither the colonizer nor the colonized? Dr. Peralta will examine two groups of Thai nurses who traversed the U.S. empire to gain advanced nurse training in Boston and Manila in the early 20th century.

While Thailand was not within the U.S.'s official purview, the encounter between the U.S. colonial nursing instructors and the Thai nursing students learning within a colonial system created contradictory positions of power. Depending on who perceived this crossing, it could reflect the expanding influence for different parties invested in nursing education, either the Filipino and American medical workers, Thai elites, or both Thai and Filipino women. This talk examines these crossings and the approximate relationships of domination that supported and confounded the U.S. empire. Lastly, this presentation examines Filipino women's fraught relationship to power vis-a-vis science and medicine, which also represented (even if incompletely, temporarily, and immemorably) both the domination and the collaboration of Thai women.

 Historian Christine PeraltaChristine N. Peralta is a recipient of the Bjoring Center's 30th Anniversary Research Fellowship. She is an assistant professor of history and sexuality, women's and gender studies, at Amherst College.



Randolph Award Lecture

"Unearthing Black Midwifery Stories in Virginia"

Linda Janet Holmes

April 16, 2024, 12 - 1 p.m.

(McLeod Hall, Room 5060, and on Zoom)

Ms. Holmes will present key findings from her interviews with midwife descendants, mothers, doulas and contemporary health-care providers who recognize the contributions of historic Black midwifery care in Charlottesville and in surrounding communities. Reasons for continuing Black midwifery traditions also will be discussed.    

Linda JanWriter and scholar Linda Janet Holmeset Holmes is the 2024 recipient of the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award for her outstanding scholarship documenting the experiences, knowledge, and practices of Black midwives in the U.S. and across the African diaspora. A writer, independent scholar, and long-time women's health activist, Holmes is the author of Safe in a Midwife's Hands: Birthing Traditions from Africa to the American South (Ohio State University Press, 2023) and co-author of Listen to Me Good: The Story of an Alabama Midwife, with Margaret Charles Smith (Ohio State University Press, 1996). Her other books include A Joyous Revolt: Toni Cade Bambara, Writer and Activist (Praeger, 2014) and the anthology Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara (Temple University Press, 2007).


Recent Nursing History Forums

"Narrating a Life of Care: Hindsight and Challenges of Interpretation in the Study of Religion and Health" by Angela Xia, PhD candidate in religious studies, recipient of the Bjoring Center's 30th Anniversary Research Fellowship (November 2023)

"Gay Nurses/Straight Health Care: Toward a Queer History of Nursing" by Jess Dillard-Wright, PhD, MA, RN, CNM, recipient of the Barbara Brodie Nursing History Fellowship (November 2023)

"Hospital City, Health Care Nation: Race, Capital, and the Costs of American Health Care" by Guian McKee, PhD (September 2023)

"History and Memory of Filipino Nurses in U.S. Health-Care Delivery" by Catherine Ceniza Choy, PhD, recipient of the 2023 Agnes Dillon Randolph Award (April 2023)

"Medicine of Care: Oral History of Nurse Practitioners in New York State" by Morag Martin, PhD (March 2023)

"Black Nurses’ Silent Struggle to Integrate Hospital Nursing in the North, 1950-1970" by Hafeeza Anchrum, PhD, RN (Nov. 2022)

"Understanding the Experiences of Male Nurse Practitioners, 1980 to Present" by Marcus D. Henderson, MSN, RN (Oct. 2022)

"A Virtual Roundtable on the History of Black Midwives" with Wangui Muigai, PhD; Michelle Drew, DNP, MPH, CNM, FNP-C, C-EFM; and Gertrude Fraser, PhD (Feb. 2022). Download the History of Black Midwives Roundtable transcript.

Program: "Ancient Wisdom, Resistance and Reclamation: The Historical Contributions of African and African American Midwives 1619 to the Present" - by Michelle Drew, DNP, MPH, CNM, FNP-C, C-EFM

"Trust, Training, and Tradition: Black Midwifery in the Early 20th Century" - by Wangui Muigai, PhD

"African American Doulas: Carrying on the Tradition, Navigating Spaces of Care and Exploitation" - by Gertrude J. Fraser, PhD

For a recording of any of these talks, please contact the Bjoring Center's program manager.

Agnes Dillon Randolph International Nursing History Conference March 18-19, 2022

View the 2022 Randolph Conference Program and 2022 Randolph Conference Program Abstracts from our international event, held virtually in March 2022. 


Black Midwives: A History Forum