Carnegie Mellon University

Medical Bondage and the Birth of American Gynecology

The 13th Annual Margaret Morrison Distinguished Lecture in Women’s History

Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens
Associate Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY

Thursday, March 28, 2019

4:00 Reception
4:30 Talk

Simmons Auditorium A
Tepper Quad
Carnegie Mellon University

In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens explores how, in the nineteenth century, experimental surgeries on enslaved and laboring women enabled the rise of American gynecology as a medical specialty, and shaped Americans' understanding of race. Merging women’s, medical, and social history, she makes Black and Irish women's lives—not just their bodies—part of an origins story of American medicine, one that has largely been told with an exclusive focus on white male historical actors.

Collaboration with the Department of History