Perhaps no drug has had a greater impact on American culture than the Pill. Since its approval in 1960 by the Food and Drug Administration, the Pill has been both credited and blamed for vast changes in how women – and men – approach sex, love and other fundamental issues.
But the history and impact of the Pill is often misunderstood, including its role in everything from the feminist and pro-choice movements, to the opposition of organized religion to birth control.
Dr. May’s lecture will help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Pill, giving a clearer and more complete picture of the changes wrought in its wake, and how we still grapple with them to this day.
Elaine Tyler May is Regents Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Minnesota and a past president of the Organization of American Historians and the American Studies Association. She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her books include America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation (2010); Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (1988, new edition 2008); Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness (1997); Pushing the Limits: American Women, 1940-1961 (1996); and Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America (1980); and she is currently working on a book project exploring the quest for security in America.
Dr. May’s talk is part of the Organization of American Historian’s Distinguished Lectureship Program.
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