dr. M.S. (Manon) Parry
Faculty of Humanities
Kloveniersburgwal 48 Room number: E 1.04
1012 CX Amsterdam
Prof. Dr. Manon Parry is Professor by Special Appointment of Medical History at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Public History at the University of Amsterdam. She is founder and coordinator of an international research consortium, “Museums, Medicine and Society,” investigating innovative strategies in the communication of the science and the history of medicine. Partners include the Museum Boerhaave, the Waag Society, and the Hubrecht Institute (The Netherlands); Medical Museion, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Szkola Wyzsza Psychologii Spolecznej (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, SWPS), Warsaw, Poland.
From 2016-2020 she is working on a project titled "Human Curiosities: Expanding the Social Relevance of Medical Museums." While the collections of medical museums, including human remains, are sometimes labeled as "curiosities," her title refers instead to the idea that it is entirely human to be curious about bodies and that curators can harness that interest in socially-useful ways. She will study museums across Europe, focusing specifically on the representation of sexuality and reproduction, mental health issues, infectious diseases, and race, disability, and the life cycle. Output will include a book, an exhibition and an online tool experimenting with new strategies for interpreting medical heritage. The research is funded by a €315,000 Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Heritage Collecitons/The University of Amsterdam.
Dr. Parry serves as a Managing Editor of the UK journal Museum & Society and was previously an International Consulting Editor for the US journal The Public Historian. She has ten years of experience as an exhibition curator in the United States, where she developed 4000 sq. ft gallery exhibitions and integrated multimedia on a wide range of topics, including global health and human rights, disability in the American Civil War, and medicinal and recreational drug use. Project budgets ranged from $14,500 to $3 million, and her traveling exhibitions have visited more than 300 venues across Argentina, Canada, Germany, Guam, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In October 2014 she co-organized the inaugural annual conference of the International Federation for Public History - Public History in a Digital World: The Revolution Reconsidered.
She is co-editor, with Ellen S. More and Elizabeth Fee, of Women Physicians and the Culture of Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) , winner of the Archivists and Librarians in the Health Sciences Publication Award for Best Print Publication in 2012. She is the author of Broadcasting Birth Control: Mass Media and Family Planning (Rutgers University Press, 2013).
Other projects include research on the use of sound in museums, and the public history of controversial topics including mental health history and abortion and contraception. Recently-funded research projects include "Bio-Art, Ethics, and Engagement," Creative Industries Research Center Amsterdam (CIRCA), €30,000.00.
Media Studies and Public History, MA Level. American Studies, BA and MA level. Supervising BA, MA, and PhD Theses on topics related to public history, women's history, history of medicine, history of communication, audiovisual archives, and medical museums. Courses previously taught include Introduction to Public History; Special Topics in Public History (Digital Public History); Collection and Collection Management; Curating the Moving Image; History in Public Debate; History Lab; and Family Planning Media in National and International Context.
Broadcasting Birth Control: Mass Media and Family Planning (Rutgers University Press, 2013)
Traditionally, the history of the birth control movement has been told through the accounts of the leaders, organizations, and legislation that shaped the campaign. Recently, historians have begun examining the cultural work of printed media, including newspapers, magazines, and even novels in fostering support for the cause. Broadcasting Birth Control builds on this new scholarship to explore the films and radio and television broadcasts developed by twentieth-century birth control advocates to promote family planning at home in the United States, and in the expanding international arena of population control.
Mass media was critical to the birth control movement’s attempts to build support and later to publicize the idea of fertility control and the availability of contraceptive services in the United States and around the world. Though these public efforts in advertising and education were undertaken initially by leading advocates, including Margaret Sanger, increasingly a growing class of public communications experts took on the role, mimicking the efforts of commercial advertisers to promote health and contraception in short plays, cartoons, films, and soap operas. In this way, they made a private subject—fertility control—appropriate for public discussion.
Parry examines these trends to shed light on the contested nature of the motivations of birth control advocates. Acknowledging that supporters of contraception were not always motivated by the best interests of individual women, Parry concludes that family planning advocates were nonetheless convinced of women’s desire for contraception and highly aware of the ethical issues involved in the use of the media to inform and persuade.
"Manon Parry’s engrossing book,
Broadcasting Birth Control, takes readers through the arguments early sexual and reproductive health advocates had when deciding what would be the best messaging to gain popular support for the use of contraception in America."
—International Planned Parenthood Federation
"Parry's clear, compelling, meticulously researched, and accessible book is the first to specifically examine the extensive use of mass media to garner support for the legalization of birth control during the twentieth century." —Heather Munro Prescott, author of The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United
"By showing how the popular media helped win over a skeptical public, Parry deepens our understanding of the history of birth control . . . a subtle and persuasive reinterpretation." —Sonya Michel, University of Maryland
Broadcasting Birth Control is jam-packed with surprising historical tidbits on ways the media has been used by the family planning movement since its inception. Manon Parry has done a major service to the family planning field by capturing the history of its early engagement with the media and the evolution of that engagement with all the pitfalls and challenges along the way."
—Conscience: The News Journal of Catholic Opinion
"Parry reveals to us many important parts of the [birth control] story we have for too long overlooked."
—Social History of Medicine
"[A] fine survey of the mediation of birth control." —Journal of American History
Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)
This volume examines the wide-ranging careers and diverse lives of American women physicians, shedding light on their struggles for equality, professional accomplishment, and personal happiness over the past 150 years. Leading scholars in the history of medicine chronicle the trials and triumphs of such extraordinary women as Marie Zakrzewska, one of the first female medical graduates in the United States and founder of the New England Hospital for Women and Children; Mary S. Calderone, the courageous and controversial medical director of Planned Parenthood in the mid-twentieth century; and Esther Pohl Lovejoy, who risked her life to bring medical aid and supplies to countries experiencing war, famine, and other catastrophes. Illuminating the ethnic, political, and personal diversity of women physicians, the book reveals them as dedicated professionals who grapple with obstacles and embrace challenges, even as they negotiate their own health, sexuality, and body images, the needs of their patients, and the rise of the women's health movement.
A great introduction to the history of women in medicine. It offers fresh disciplinary perspectives on the diverse experience of women physicians in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Scholars in women's history, the history of professions, gender studies, and the history of medicine will profit from reading these engaging essays."
— Sarah W. Tracy, author of Alcoholism in America: From Reconstruction to Prohibition
"This lively collection of essays will no doubt be enlightening to the current generation of medical students, historians, and scholars."
— Barbara F. Atkinson - Journal of Clinical Investigation
"Readers will find much to admire in this book. The individual essays, while diverse, are uniformly well written, well-researched, and impressively documented... Highly recommended."
"The book would certainly be helpful for medical historians, of course, but also for any person—woman or man—interested in the past, present, and future role of women in medicine. Readers are rewarded with impressive scholarship and exhaustive, essay-specific bibliographies."
"Stellar edited collection... Read this book and assign it for class: it succeeds in leaving us informed,inspired, and amazed... It is provocative, deconstructs binaries, shows the personal tolls and struggles faced by these physicians and their use of science, nutrition, professional authority, and maternity (among others) as means to challenge male medical authority and culturally constructed gendered norms."
— Susan E. Cayleff - Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"This important volume delineates the state of the field in many aspects of the history of women physicians in the United States and points the way to the next steps in research."
— Kimberly Jensen - Social History of Medicine
"This collection of essays on the history of American women physicians from the nineteenth century to the present provides the latest, state-of-the-art scholarship on the subject... Invaluable."
— Laura Ettinger - American Historical Review
"A valuable addition to the history of women's struggle for fulfilling careers in medicine."
— H. Hughes Evans - Journal of the History of Medicine
Major Gallery Exhibitions
Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health, National Library of Medicine, 2008-2010
Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians (co-curated with Ellen S. More), National Library of Medicine, 2004-2006
A Voyage to Health (co-curated with Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, Hardy Spoeh, Maile Taualii), 2010
2012: Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences Publication Award for Best Print Publication, 2012, for Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine, co-edited with Ellen S. More and Elizabeth Fee (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).
2012: National Library of Medicine Special Act Award: In Recognition and Appreciation of Exceptional Service by a Contractor, for exhibition work.
2011: Costo Chair Medal, Awarded by the Chair of American Indian Affairs, University of California-Riverside, for contributions to the advancement of Native American issues, in recognition of exhibition work on health topics.
2011: National Institutes of Health Plain Language Award, Gold, for online exhibition “The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and ‘The Yellow Wall-paper.’”
2009: National Council on Public History Excellence in Consulting Award.
2009: National Library of Medicine Special Act Award: “For outstanding achievement enabling the successful conduct of historically unique interviews with Native Hawaiians and research for the exhibition ‘Native Concepts of Health and Illness.’”
2005: National Institutes of Health Plain Language Award in the category of Outstanding for the “Changing the Face of Medicine” Engagement Calendar, Brochure, Exhibit, and Web site.
2004: National Library of Medicine Special Act Award: “For exceptional contributions to the concept, development and production of ‘Changing the Face of Medicine’ which led to the creation of a critically acclaimed exhibition.”
Current PhD Supervision (as co-supervisor):
Karlijn Olijslager, feminism and women's exhibitions in The Netherlands.
Christie Ray, touch screens and instructions for use in exhibitions.
Completed Embedded Research / Predoctoral Supervision:
Louis Buckley, “Bio-Art, Ethics, and Engagement.”
Completed MA Supervision:
-“When AIDS is history,” Hugo Schalkwijk, MA Public History, 2015
-“Branding Family History,” Carlijn van Spaendonck, MA Public History, 2015
-“Women’s History in Museums,” Jasmijn van Houten, MA Public History, 2014
-“Becoming ‘Disney Worlds of Heritage Entertainment’? Transformation in Public Programming at the Amsterdam City Archives,” Roosmarijn Thuijsman, MA Public History, 2014
-“From Epidemic to War: Response of the U.S. Government on the Emergence of the Obesity Epidemic, 1980-2014,” Hannah Tiel, MA American Studies, 2014
-“Riding the Wave of Acceptance: An Exploration of Hip-Hop’s Evolving Relationship to Queer Sexualities,” Jurjanne Vos, MA American Studies, 2014
-“Access and Reuse of the Moving Images of the Colombian Armed Conflict 1983-2013: Broadcasting Traces, Online Platforms and the Writing of History,” Luisa Ordóñez Ortegón, MAPreservation & Presentation of the Moving Image, 2014
-“No Place Like Home: The Rhetoric of Fetal Rights in the American Homebirth Debate,” Suzan Steeman, MA American Studies, 2013
-“Under Fire: The Republican Party’s War on Women in the 2012 Election,”Martine Gouw, MA American Studies, 2013
-“Archives and National Identity: Audiovisual Heritage in the UK and Ireland,” Eoin O’Donohoe, MA Preservation & Presentation of the Moving Image, 2013
-“Film Festivals each Into Cyberspace: A History of Online Film Festivals,”Norbert Bakker, MA Preservation & Presentation of the Moving Image, 2013
Completed BA Supervision
-Ellen Schuurman “Between Tolerance and Acceptance: Homosexuality on Television in the Netherlands, 1980-2013,” BA History, 2014
Collection and Collection Management (MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image, Media Studies)
Curating the Moving Image (MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image, Media Studies)
Family Planning Media in National and International Context (MA American Studies)
Figures of the Counterculture: America in the 1960s (BA American Studies)
History in Public Debate (BA History)
Introduction to Public History (MA Public History)
Digital Public History and Virtual Museums I and II (MA Public History)
- Parry, M. S. (2017). Sex Education and Social Media: Contraception in the Digital Age. In W. Maierhofer, & B. Capo (Eds.), Reproductive Rights Issues in Popular Media: International Perspectives (pp. 65-81). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. [details]
- Parry, M. (2016). abNormal: Bodies in Medicine and Culture. In S. R. Butler, & E. T. Lehrer (Eds.), Curatorial dreams: critics imagine exhibitions (pp. 246-264, 331-334). Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. [details]
- Birdsall, C., Parry, M., & Tkaczyk, V. (2015). Listening to the Mind: Tracing the Auditory History of Mental Illness in Archives and Exhibitions. The Public Historian, 37(4), 47-72. DOI: 10.1525/tph.2015.37.4.47 [details]
- Parry, M. (2015). Feminist Opposition to Abortion: Reframing Histories to Limit Reproductive Rights. In M. Aerts (Ed.), Gender and activism: women’s voices in political debate (pp. 107-118). (Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis; No. 35). Amsterdam: Verloren. [details]
- Parry, M. (2013). Broadcasting Birth Control: mass media and family planning. (Critical issues in health and medicine). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. [details]
- Parry, M. S. (2011). Pictures with a Purpose: The Birth Control Debate on the Big Screen. Journal of Women’s History, 23(4), 108-130.
- More, E. S., Fee, E., & Parry, M. S. (2009). Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Parry, M. S., & van Houten, J. (2018). Exceptional or Excluded: Women’s History in the Netherlands. In Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption, Change (pp. 532-559). Edinburgh: Museums Etc.
- Parry, M. (Author). (2015). Occupy the University Online: Revising Public History after the Rebirth of Student Protest. Web publication/site, Amsterdam: Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain. [details]
- Parry, M. (2013). The Sound of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum. Developed by Soundscapes of the Urban Past, University of Maastricht, based on research by Annelies Jacobs, supervised by Professor Karin Bijsterveld. Sound recording by Arnoud Traa, audio storylines designed by Jessica Swinkels. Amsterdam Museum, March 28-December 28, 2013. The Public Historian, 35(3), 127-130. DOI: 10.1525/tph.2013.35.3.127 [details]
Internationale Federation For History
Promoting Internationale Collaboration
The Ultimate History Project
The Public Historian
International Consulting Editor
Museum & Society