Town Hall Seattle: Kate Clancy with Angela Garbes — 'Period: The Real Story of Menstruation'

An event in partnership with Town Hall Seattle

Town Hall Seattle and Third Place Books are delighted to present professor and author Kate Clancy for a discussion of her new book, Period: The Real Story of MenstruationShe will be joined in conversation by local author Angela Garbes

Purchase tickets here!


About the event. . . 

If ever anything were considered taboo to talk about, it would be periods. Despite the fact that half of the world spends decades of their lives menstruating on a monthly basis, periods remain largely misunderstood and unexplored in the mainstream.

That’s where Kate Clancy comes in: her groundbreaking new book Period: The Real Story of Menstruation serves as a long-awaited response to many of the (mis)conceptions surrounding periods (e.g. the prevailing myth — still touted by some physicians — that ocean swimming is unsafe for a menstruating person wearing a tampon). These and other theories that have long shaped the study of the uterus are addressed and debunked; the troubling history of gynecology is explored through an intersectional feminist perspective, illuminating issues such as sexism and even eugenics in the field of menstruation science.

Not only does Clancy teach us history, she also tackles contemporary issues surrounding menstruation, from bodily autonomy to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the ways oppression warps public perceptions of menstruation and erases it from public life. Clancy blends her own pioneering research with interviews and personal experience to show that there is ultimately no such thing as a “normal” menstrual cycle.

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

Kate Clancy is a 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.

Angela Garbes is the author of Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change, called “a landmark and a lightning storm” by the New Yorker. Essential Labor was named a Best Book of 2022 by both the New Yorker and NPR. Her first book, Like a Mother, was also an NPR Best Book of the Year as well as a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A first-generation Filipina American, Garbes lives with her family on Beacon Hill.

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