The University of Pennsylvania, by Caren Beilin
Olivia Knox has womb duplicatum, a rare affliction of continuous menstruation. Blood—it is not just blood!—tumbles unstoppably during her freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. This problem of excess—blood full of marbles and beans, something thick enough to be black, sometimes sick enough to be brown, sometimes wild, almost violet again—foregrounds Beilin’s revision (queer and erotic) of Pennsylvania’s foundations. Tracing a relationship between George Fox and William Penn, Bethlehem’s industrial boom, Jewish suburbia and Amish farming, and the origins of surgical education in America, The University of Pennsylvania convenes at the University of Pennsylvania, where Olivia Knox confronts a surgical solution.