Miriam Rich

Miriam Rich

Miriam Rich

Research Interests: Social and cultural history of medicine in the U.S. as it relates to gender and race.

Miriam Rich completed her A.M. and Ph.D. in Harvard's History of Science Department in May of 2019 upon submission of her dissertation, Monstrous Births: Race, Gender, and Defective Reproduction in U.S. Medical Science, 1830-1930, which examines how concepts of race informed changing understandings of "monstrous birth" (infants born with severe physical disabilities) within arenas of science, medicine, and law in the late nineteenth-century United States. She is broadly interested in how biological aspects of the body (including health, pain, physical disability, and reproduction) have been experienced and interpreted within historically specific systems of race, gender, and citizenship. She has also written about nineteenth-century medical understandings of race and the pain of childbirth; the use of racial categories in twenty-first-century genetics and genomics; and the sociopolitical contexts of historical U.S. vaccination policies. She graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore College in 2011, studying history and biology.

Miriam will start teaching in Yale University's Program of History of Science and Medicine in the fall of 2019.

“The Curse of Civilised Woman: Race, Gender and the Pain of Childbirth in Nineteenth-Century American Medicine.” Gender & History 28(1): pp. 57-76 (2016). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-0424.12177/full

“The Discontinuation of Routine Smallpox Vaccination in the United States, 1960-1976: An Unlikely Affirmation of Biomedical Hegemony.” Revista Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 16(2): pp. 471-77 (2011).

Previous Degrees: 
BA., History, Biology, Swarthmore College

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