Latest posts from the Undergrad Research Blogs

The Purity Test

If Game Show Network were to exist over two millennia ago, “The Purity Test” would surely be of the most viewed features among their male audience. Physicians, clergymen, and your average, ancient Mediterranean Joe were simply obsessed with confirming the virginity, and therefore physical purity of a female body at nuptial question. Various cultural practices… Read more »

So How is the French Going?

I’ve intentionally made this blog much more about my experiences in Morocco than exactly about my experiences here learning French, but that’s because language progress is slow. Plus, as riveting as it might be on my end to practice my conjugations and learn new grammar, I thought it probably wouldn’t make for a riveting read…. Read more »

Parthenogenesis – Creating Virginity (Part 2)

In order to rationalize the “natural order” that allowed the female body to conserve its pure, virginal state until nuptial consumption, ancient culture and medicine constructed the idea of a sealed womb. In the process of nuptial consummation, the woman’s vaginal canal was thought to widen, which was evidenced by the deepening of the girl’s… Read more »

Parthenogenesis – Creating Virginity (Part 1)

I was sitting in my high school biology class, during the lecture on bees. The slide that detailed their reproductive systems outlined two distinct paths of procreation: 1) the fertilized egg, produced out of two gametes, 2) the unfertilized egg, produced out of parthenogenesis. What was that, Dr. Ryan? gamete, derived from the ancient Greek… Read more »

Little Lamb, who made thee?

In the tradition of the past few posts, The Wandering Womb and Barking and Broken Bitches, it seems only customary to discuss the next animal which served as a primary analogy for the female body in Mediterranean Antiquity: the lamb. Galen, a male pioneer of OB/GYN in 2nd Century Rome, was the first to relate… Read more »

From a corner booth at Kenyan coffee shop:

I’m officially one month into my travels—coined by many of classmates as “Hannah’s World Coffeeshop Tour”. While they’re not entirely wrong, I’ll have you all know that I’ve only been consuming about 20% of my normal caffeine intake. Small victories. My plane landed in Kenya four days ago, and I cried. I’ve prided myself in… Read more »

Barking and Broken B*tches

The ancient Greek κῠ́ων​ (kuon), meaning “dog,” serves as a strong image in the cultural and medical depiction of women and their reproductive organs. Coming off of The Wandering Womb post, we have already investigated the animalistic construction of the uterus, which functioned to instill fear in women over their own bodies and create urgency… Read more »

The Wandering Womb

Of all the medical constructions of the female body, the wandering womb stands out as one of the most distant from the contemporary understanding of female anatomy. With this, it should be analyzed significantly, as it is through these historical cracks of comprehension that shines the truest cultural perspectives from the time. The hodos ​was… Read more »

Today I go to Marrakech. And then the Sahara

This post will be short, but I’m on my way to the desert! I will return to my French classes in a week, but right now I’m on my way to Marrakech. It’s the city I’ve heard the most about since I’ve come here. But honestly I’m more excited for the desert. I have never… Read more »