“A Hallowed Institution”: The Bordel Militaire de Campagne (Mobile Field Brothels) and the Making of Military Prostitution in France Following World War One

Reflecting on the French system of military prostitution known as Bordels Militaires de Campagne (BMC, Mobile Field Brothels) during the First World War, Dr. Léon Bizard wrote in his memoirs (1925): It was a mêlée, a hard, dangerous, and disgusting business. Fifty, sixty, up to a hundred men of all colors and races to relieve…

Fertility and Consent in Machiavelli’s Writing

  Today Machiavelli is known almost exclusively as a political thinker, but to his contemporaries he was also an expert on herbs and poisons. Though his medicinal writings no longer exist, Machiavelli is cited twice in 16th-century manuals as an expert on spider poison. Likely, he would have been extremely familiar with the early modern…

Trans Futures: Speculative Fiction as Gender Liberation

Glen Kalliope Rodman // “You are certain he’s not a man?” – A.I.: Artificial Intelligence  As a young person, my gender deviance was insuppressible and a source of perpetual friction with my teachers and peers. One entry from my childhood journal reads: “My art teacher told me I look like some actress from The Devil…

Gay Men and Lesbians, Alcohol Addiction, and the 1970s

John A. Carranza // In 2018, I wrote a piece on Oliver Sipple, the gay man who foiled an assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford. In the aftermath of that attempt, Sipple’s life, including his sexuality, became public. In the years since he stopped the assassination his drinking had increased, which exacerbated some of the…

Thoughts on the Material Self

Dr. Brian J. Troth // February 2022. Heavy rain has drenched France’s capital; strong winds force the rain sideways and send the covid-testing tents tumbling down the road. In the Café Beaubourg, psychiatrist Dr. Christophe Fauré is working on his next book. Two months prior, I had just finished reading his first fiction, Mourir n’est…

“As if that ever works”: Herbal Abortifacients in “Bridgerton”

Julia Dauer // In the first season of Neflix’s period fantasy Bridgerton, Marina Thompson enters the kitchen of the wealthy house in which she is temporarily living, rummages among the jars shelved along the far wall, and brews herself an herbal tea.  This scene memorably depicts an attempted herbal abortion, and Marina’s subsequent arc includes…