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Known for its thriving medical institutions, it may surprise many that the very existence of a medical field in Grand Rapids is the result of the efforts of charitable nineteenth-century women. Founders and leaders of medical charities in this city’s early history, these women were gradually pushed from the center of their organizations to the more feminine task of founding nursing schools. Recovering this forgotten past reveals a history in which women utilized, were limited by, pushed against, and ultimately expanded the evolving ideas about gender that continuously mediated their presence in Grand Rapids’s developing medical field. 

About the speaker

Julia Bouwkamp is a recent history graduate of Calvin College. She has put her degree to use as a historical interpreter at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working in historic preservation, and as a researcher and archivist with both the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council and Froebel USA. Bouwkamp is applying to graduate programs in material culture and public history. 

Co-sponsored by Calvin College Nursing Department and Gender Studies program.

This talk is part of monthly history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Come early to enjoy refreshments and conversation, and feel free to ask questions or join the discussion at the end.

February 2019
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