A new perspective piece in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers: “Spitting on my sources: Depression, DNA, and the ambivalent historian,” by Rachel Louise Moran. Abstract:
While writing a book on the history of postpartum depression in the United States, I became interested in an ongoing study about possible genetic markers of postpartum mental illness. I participated in the first step, an online survey. When I qualified for the next step, saliva collection, I was torn over whether or not to continue. Making this decision required reflecting on some overlapping issues: gender, medicalization, genetic research, and the political functions of DNA donation. In this perspectives essay, I explore tensions around situating myself in my historical research project.