Hello! I am a historian specializing in the history of medicine and gender in the United States.


As a first-generation college student, I graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2009. I then earned my Ph.D. in History at Yale University's Program in the History of Science and Medicine, where I wrote a dissertation on women’s health activism. After graduate school, I spent a year working at a non-profit women's health advocacy organization. I currently teach at Jefferson—East Falls. During the Spring 2020 semester I will be in residence at the Massachusetts Historical Society as an NEH Long-term Fellow.

Much of my work focuses on the complicated relationships that women have had with health care throughout history. I have written on topics ranging from the development of new menstrual products to underground illegal abortion practices. At the moment I am working on two book-length projects: 1) a reassessment of the 1970 U.S. Senate hearings on the safety of oral contraceptives, adapted from my dissertation, and 2) a history of doctors' wives and the role they played in shaping American medicine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

When not reading or writing, I can be found running (very slowly) or exploring coffee shops of the greater Philadelphia area. You can also find me on Twitter at @KellyODonn.