• Writings on past and present women, healthcare, race and feminism by Agnes Arnold-Forster, PhD candidate in the History of Breast Cancer at KCL.

“What a Woman Is”: Breast Cancer, Sexuality and the Unreconstructed Self

Originally posted on NOTCHES:
By Agnes Arnold-Forster The manifesto of Monokini 2.0, a social art project centred on swimwear designed for women who have had a mastectomy, advocates, We think that the current focus on a breast-reconstruction after mastectomy as the only way to a full life, is a breast-fixated way of seeing what a woman…

Revellers take part in a gay pride parade in Santo Domingo June 30, 2013  REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas

The Queer Caribbean: Conflicting Uses of the Colonial Past

Originally posted on NOTCHES:
By Agnes Arnold-Forster  In 1991, the Progressive Liberal Party government amended the Bahamas’ Sexual Offences Act, decriminalising “buggery” and other same-sex sexual acts in private. Over twenty years later the Bahamas still remains ahead of the majority of its Caribbean neighbours. Male-male sexual activity continues to be illegal in eleven Caribbean nations.…

breast cancer

Breast Cancer, Swimwear and the [Un]-Reconstructed Self

“We want to show that you can be whole, beautiful and sexy even with just one breast or with no breasts at all.”

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Breast Cancer isn’t Pink

Tackling a racial gap in breast cancer survival is an article on the New York Times website that draws attention to the detail, Despite 20 years of pink ribbon awareness campaigns and numerous advances in medical treatment that have sharply improved survival rates for women with breast cancer in the United States, the vast majority of … Continue reading


Excellent Resource at the Wellcome Library

The Medical Officer of Health Reports for London, from 1848 to 1972, provide statistical data about births, deaths and diseases and give historians a unique insight into day-to-day life in the capital. They have been photographed cover-to-cover and turned into text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). They are arranged by date and by borough, and … Continue reading


In Conversation with the Women’s Liberation Movement: A Review

History is, for many, an identity forming activity, and it has long been central to feminism and the women’s liberation movement. From its inception in the 1960s and 1970s, feminist history in particular has helped us to “find answers and guides for [female] lives and struggles”. It has, in the words of historian Linda Gordon … Continue reading

Victims of FGM and charities that fight against it must be involved in government eradication efforts

Today, on International Women’s Day, David Cameron is set to announce the largest international investment ever to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Earlier this week Lynne Featherstone MP laid out ambitious plans to eradicate FGM within a generation. But this Government initiative – a hugely welcome one – must not forget the long-running efforts of … Continue reading


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