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Lauren MacIvor Thompson

Assistant Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kennesaw State University
Chapter Member: Georgia SSN

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About Lauren

Thompson is a historian of medicine, law, and public health in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her research is interdisciplinary, crossing the boundaries of gender and women's history, the triangulated histories of law, public health, and medicine, and contemporary theories of intersectional reproductive justice and bioethics. Thompson's current book project, Battle for Birth Control: Mary Dennett, Margaret Sanger, and the Rivalry that Shaped a Movement, under advance contract with Rutgers University Press in their "Critical Issues in Health and Medicine" series, explores the early history of the birth control movement. She has been invited to present internationally on her research and writes frequently for outlets such as The Washington Post.


"The Politics of Female Pain: The Twilight Sleep Association and the Origins of the Birth Control Movement, 1913-1915" Medical Humanities 45, no. 1 (March 2019): 67-74.

Notes that today, in the United States, statistics for both maternal and infant mortality remain grim compared to others in the developed world, and the rates of epidurals are 10% higher than they were just 10 years ago. Helps shed light on the historic factors that contributed to them. Explores the increasingly contentious relationship between women and physicians in the early part of the twentieth century over the new labor technique of “Twilight Sleep.”

"“The Reasonable (Wo)man”: Physicians, Freedom of Contract, and Women's Rights, 1870–1930" Law and History Review 36, no. 4 (November 2018): 771-809.

Examines how ideals of contract freedom within the women’s rights movement challenged medical and medical jurisprudence theories about women between 1870 and 1930.

"“The Presence of a Monstrosity”: Eugenics, Female Disability, and Obstetrical-Gynecologic Medicine in Late 19th-Century New York" Miranda (November 2017).

Analyzes the connection between eugenics, the professionalization of American medicine, and the development of the specialties of obstetrics and gynecology.