Monday, August 26th 2019

Season 3 Episode 27 – Toxic Shock and “Technologies of Passing”

Show notes: Join Kate as she talks to Dr. Sharra Vostral, Associate Professor of History at Purdue. Her research centers upon the history of technology, specifically gender, and histories of medical devices and health. Her book, Under Wraps: A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology examines the social and technological history of sanitary napkins and tampons, and the effects of technology upon women’s experiences of menstruation. Her latest book Toxic Shock: A Social History shows “how TSS became a ‘women’s disease,’ for which women must constantly monitor their own bodies. Further, Vostral discusses the awkward, veiled and vague ways public health officials and the media discussed the risks of contracting TSS through tampon use because of social taboos around discussing menstruation, and how this has hampered regulatory actions and health communication around TSS, tampon use, and product safety.”

I really enjoyed this interview, both the history that Dr. Vostral uncovered and her insights into the cultural meaning of menstrual products. Have a listen!

Dr. Sharra Vostral
Dr. Sharra Vostral

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  1. Harry Finley said:


    Sharra referred me to your site. I can’t get the podcast to run! But I appreciate the work you’re doing.

    All my best,

    Harry Finley
    Museum of Menstruation

  2. Dr. Kate Clancy said:

    Hi Harry! You should be able to subscribe to the podcast through any podcasting app – I’ve used Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Podbean without a problem.

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