Kathryn Reusch, PhD

Kathryn Reusch is a conservation technician at the Museum. She is also an affiliate faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she teaches biological anthropology classes for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Kathryn is currently working to conserve objects from the American ethnology collection for an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. She is also working to stabilize waterlogged Pleistocene conifer cones excavated during the Snowmastodon Project near Snowmass, Colorado, so they can be handled and studied by the Department of Earth Sciences curators and visiting scholars.    


Eunuchs and Empires Podcast

Eunuchs and empires: Listen here

Since ancient times the practice of castrating pre-pubescent boys, and sometimes men, was thought to make them loyal servants, suitable for roles at the heart of many imperial courts. Some historians believe this began with human slaves who were treated in the same way as animals – as lesser beings to be managed and controlled – with no free choice.

The effects of castration on the male body – the loss of testosterone being the principal one – had a huge impact on how eunuchs have been viewed throughout history. Being unable to father children who could threaten lines of succession, certain eunuchs rose to power precisely because of their exclusive access to the inner workings of empires. Castrated men were also prized for their singing voices in 17th and 18th century Europe, as Dr Brianna Robertson-Kirkland explains.

Bridget Kendall discusses this painful episode with Norman Kutcher, Professor in the Department of History at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University in the US. He specialises in imperial Chinese history, and he’s the author of Eunuch and Emperor in the Great Age of Qing Rule; Dr Kathryn Reusch, conservation technician at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, who's published widely on the topic of castration in relation to archaeological remains; and Shaun Tougher, Professor of Late Roman and Byzantine History at Cardiff University. He’s written many books and articles on eunuchs, including The Roman Castrati: Eunuchs in the Roman Empire.

Snowmass Pinecones

Dead Men Tell No Tales?

Scientists can tell a lot about how people have lived from their skeletons! Dr. Kathryn Reusch will talk about what some health conditions look like, why only some conditions show up in the skeleton, and why it's important that we study health in past populations. Note: This talk will feature images of human remains and people with infectious diseases.

A Life in Ruins Podcast

The Anthropology of Castration: Listen here

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Kathryn Reusch, who is a Conservation Technician in the Museum Conservation Department at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We talk about her experiences in school in the UK, her graduate research, and then we take a deep dive into the painful topic of castration (and yes we mean human castration). Connor and Carlton pepper Dr. Reusch with questions about castration and learn more than they ever needed to know.

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