Project Idea Brainstorming

1) For the past two semesters I’ve been working with patient file records from a nineteenth century asylum in Washington D.C. One of my main ideas for a project would be to digitize the patient files and photos, as well as other records from the asylum, and create an online exhibit of the daily lives/experiences of the female patients during their commitment. I would also want to include newspaper articles that discussed when patients had medical trials or escaped from the asylum and analyze the characterizations of the mentally ill and poor in print media.

2) Another idea I have also relates to print media. I would like to analyze advertisements for abortifacients and “feminine hygiene” products before and during the Comstock Act and compare/contrast more modern advertisements since Roe v. Wade. I could focus on concepts/perceptions of femininity and public health, as well as medical knowledge and advice.

Create an archive of old newspaper and almanac articles, political cartoons and commentary concerning women and voting in New Jersey between the Constitution and 1808.

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