OI Books: Fertile Thoughts About Fertility

Today’s post is part of our series marking the 75th anniversary of the Omohundro Institute by exploring the OI books that have had an impact on a scholar’s life. by Rebecca Brannon I first picked up Susan Klepp’s Revolutionary Conceptions: Women, Fertility, and Family Limitation in America, 1760-1820 (2009) when I was at loose ends planning a seminar course on early American cultural history. I had just moved from one assistant professor gig to another, and the students were new to me. I thought the book might be an engaging read for my mostly upper middle class students. I think what I was really thinking was that if I couldn’t get the students to read and talk about sex, I had no hope. I mean, even as a scholar, I expected that sometimes rare thing—a genuinely enjoyable read. What could be better, really, than the struggles of people trying to exert control over that most personal of choices—how many children to have? So I assigned it alongside Kathleen Brown’s Foul Bodies and waited to see what I and the students made of sex, bathing, and birth control that semester. Read More

Read More

Subscribe to the Blog