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Miriam Rich, PhD

Lecturer in the History of Medicine

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Miriam Rich, PhD



Miriam Rich is a Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine and Yale University's Program in the History of Science and Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University. She is a historian of medicine and biology in the modern United States, focusing on the social and political contexts of health and bodies within historical systems of race, gender, and citizenship. Her research and teaching interests include the history of reproductive health; medical and scientific concepts of race, sex, and disability; the experience and treatment of pain; healthcare and public health policy; and medical ethics.

Her current book project, “Monstrous Births: Race and Defective Reproduction in U.S. Medical Science,” examines how the biological category of the “monster" was entwined with developing discourses of race, gender, and bodily deviance in the 19th- and 20th-century United States. She has also written about the racialization of pain in 19th-century obstetrics, the use of racial categories in 20th- and 21st-century genetics and genomics, and the sociopolitical contexts of 20th-century vaccination policies in the United States, and previously co-authored biological research in behavioral ecology. She teaches courses at Yale on the history of health and incarceration; the history of reproductive health and medicine; and the history of public health, race, and citizenship in the United States.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Harvard University, History of Science (2019)
  • BA
    Swarthmore College, History (2011)

Departments & Organizations