“Birth Rights”

In the 18th century, the man-midwife got credit for doing all the work. The more things change…

Obstetrical Manikin, Dittrick Museum, Cleveland, Ohio — photograph by Laura Travis; appearance in Clockwork Futures by Brandy Schillace

This journey began, for me, with a headless anatomical manikin. Composed of wicker or wire or actual human pelvic bones, covered with chamois leather, housing a collection of springs, bags, levers, thread and colored liquor — these strange devices have an unusual place in one of…

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