© 2020 by Michael Donnay

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I write about history and its influence on contemporary society, from science funding to higher education to theatre.

As an undergraduate, my research focused on the history of institutions and the ways people organize themselves to produce culture. My interest in institutions took me from naval logistics during the American revolution to Jesuit missions in colonial Mexico to pioneering female pilots in the 1930s. I have also conducted or supported research with the Naval History & Heritage Command, the Department of Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College, the Department of Theology at Georgetown University, and co-hosted a weekly podcast about overlooked woman in history.

‚ÄčI write for Six by Eight Press on the intersection of history and performance. See below for a full list of projects.

Missing History Podcast

From 2018 to 2019, I co-hosted the Missing History Podcast, where each week my co-host Katie and I brought a woman overlooked by history to share.

Inspired by that all too common feeling, "How did I not know about her?!?", we aim to elevate the stories of a wide range of woman, from Egyptian civil rights activists to medieval nuns to the first female (almost) astronauts. We share their stories, discuss their impact and why they've been ignored or sidelined, and often get a little mad at the patriarchy. Listen to Missing History on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, or wherever great podcasts can be found.

History is complicated, so we take it one woman at a time.

Missing History is co-hosted by Katie & Michael
Produced & Edited by Jen
Co-Executive Produced by Frankie

"Chemists Boldly Go" with Michelle Francl

"Following the Chicago flight, Jeannette and Jean Felix found themselves in possession of a balloon, a gondola and a desire to aim for the stratosphere themselves. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much more than that, and back then (as now) epic science was not an inexpensive endeavour. The 1933 flight had cost over US$50,000, and even working on a shoestring budget, the Piccards needed to raise almost US$10,000 (US$180,000 in 2016 dollars) to cover the costs of another flight. Unattached to an academic institution, commercial laboratory or military research facility — and at the height of the Great Depression — they had no obvious avenues through which to pursue funding. Jean Felix’s difficult personality and the catastrophic ends to the most recent attempts also did not help."

Read more at Nature Chemistry