March 11, 2005
Mount Holyoke anthropologist Lynn Morgan was
called on by the Springfield Republican and the Associated
Press to comment on the recent discovery in Springfield of
four human fetuses preserved in jars.
According to Jack Flynn’s February 19 page one Republican story, “Fetus
Discovery Raises Questions”:
“Minutes after FBI agents dug up four fetuses preserved in jars behind
a Springfield Housing Authority project Thursday night, federal agents and the
public alike began asking the same questions about the macabre discovery: Where
did they come from and why were they dumped there?
“Investigators conducting a corruption probe at the authority suspect the
fetuses might have belonged to a doctor whose son, a top authority official,
ordered a worker to bury them three years ago. But one area professor said the
discovery might be less sinister than it appears.
“Lynn M. Morgan, professor of anthropology at Mount Holyoke College, said
fetuses were often used as medical specimens and were widely available in hospitals,
clinics and doctors’ offices until the early 1970s, before the landmark
U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.
“Morgan, who is writing a book on fetus collection, said the public does
not realize how frequently fetuses were used for teaching and research purposes.
“‘I think people are jumping to the conclusion that these were from
induced abortions,’ said Morgan, who found 87 jars containing human fetuses
at Mount Holyoke in 1997 while doing research.
“‘It was very, very common for doctors to collect human fetuses and
embryos,’ Morgan said, adding that most came from women suffering miscarriages
or other medical
Morgan concentrates on feminist social studies of science, medical anthropology,
and the political economy of development. In 1999, she coedited Fetal Subjects,
Feminist Positions, a book of 15 essays addressing one of the most difficult
areas in current feminist thought—the meaning and degree of personhood
of the human fetus.
The February 23 Boston Globe presented a portrait
of Chef Jeff Sadowski and the course on cooking he offered
to students as part of J-Term's “Passport to Reality” series.
According to the Globe, Chef Jeff is one of the best-known figures on campus,
and he knows the dining needs of MHC students:
Sadowski knows that his students study around the clock.
“His dining hall is open ‘from 11 am to 1 pm , and we’re busy
the whole time. These kids are on the go, they want to eat something that’s
like their lifestyle.’ With that in mind, he chose to demonstrate dishes
that would be quick, easy to prepare, and complete in themselves.
“One hour isn't a long time, but Sadowski managed to make quesadillas,
cavatelli with meat sauce, pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans), and fried rice
with a few shortcuts. Preparing the meat sauce as if it were an express Bolognese
sauce, he explained that adding milk flavors and tenderizes the meat.”
What can one say in summary, but, “Hail to the chef!”
Church and State
Both conservatives and liberals are looking to what the founders
of the United States may have thought about God in efforts to bolster arguments
in debates over such issues as display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings
and the use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
February 27, the New York Times surveyed leading American
historians of the revolutionary era to gain insights into what
Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and other luminaries thought about
the sacred and its place, if any, in governance. Among those
quoted in David Kirkpatrick's story, “Putting God Back
into American History,” was Mount Holyoke historian Joseph
Ellis, whose latest book is the bestselling His Excellency:
According to Ellis, the nation's first president was “a lukewarm Episcopalian
and a quasi-deist.” “When he died,” Ellis also told the Times, “he
really did not know what would happen to his soul, if such a thing existed.”