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LLL Presents | Period: The Real Story of Menstruation

Kate Clancy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Catherine Clune-Taylor, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

May 16, 2023 · 6:00 pm7:30 pm · Labyrinth Books

Princeton Public Library; Labyrinth Books; Humanities Council; Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Kate Clancy offers a bold and revolutionary perspective on the science and cultural history of menstruation. Please join us.

This event had been planned as a hybrid event, but we have had to cancel the livestreams for the rest of the spring season due to technical difficulties. We hope you can join us at Labyrinth!

Menstruation is something half the world does for a week at a time, for months and years on end, yet it remains largely misunderstood. Scientists once thought of an individual’s period as useless, and some doctors still believe it’s unsafe for a menstruating person to swim in the ocean wearing a tampon. Period counters the false theories that have long defined the study of the uterus, exposing the eugenic history of gynecology while providing an intersectional feminist perspective on menstruation science.

Blending interviews and personal experience with engaging stories from her own pioneering research, Kate Clancy challenges a host of myths and false assumptions. There is no such a thing as a “normal” menstrual cycle. In fact, menstrual cycles are incredibly variable and highly responsive to environmental and psychological stressors. Clancy takes up a host of timely issues surrounding menstruation, from bodily autonomy, menstrual hygiene, and the COVID-19 vaccine to the ways racism, sexism, and medical betrayal warp public perceptions of menstruation and erase it from public life.

Offering a revelatory new perspective on one of the most captivating biological processes in the human body, Period will change the way you think about the past, present, and future of periods.

Kate Clancy is professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she holds appointments in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, and at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. She has written for National Geographic, Scientific American, and American Scientist. Catherine Clune-Taylor is Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. Her research interests lie in the fields of Philosophy of Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Feminist Theory, Bioethics, Philosophy of Science (with particular emphasis on Philosophy of Biology and of Medicine) and the work of Michel Foucault.

PLEASE NOTE The Library and Labyrinth Books are working with the local chapter of I Support the Girls, a non-profit that collects and distributes bras and menstrual hygiene products for folks experiencing homelessness. We will have a collection bin at the event and will be accepting donations of new bras, tampons, maxi pads (thick and thin), individually wrapped feminine wipes, and new underwear to distribute locally through organizations in the Princeton region doing anti-poverty work. To find out more about how you can support their mission of helping to make dignity the norm  visit I Support the Girls – Central/South NJ.

This event is co-presented by Labyrinth and the Princeton Public Library and cosponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council with additional support from the Program for Gender and Sexuality Studies.

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