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From the 1880s through the mid 20th century, physical education instructors commonly took precise measurements of incoming and outgoing students to chart their fitness. In Archives and Special Collections, thick ledgers contain detailed information on hundreds of individual students throughout the heyday of this practice. But why did Mount Holyoke instructors invest countless hours measuring and remeasuring each student, noting weaknesses and improvements on a granular level? Dr. Frances Davey, Five College Women's Studies Research Center Associate and Assistant Professor of History at Florida Gulf Coast University, will talk about the goal of physical fitness: to mold a student body into a socially inoffensive agent of progressive change.

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