Shannon K Withycombe

Recent Academic Positions

Aug 2013-present, Assistant Professor, History Department, University of New Mexico
July 2011-July 2013, American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow, History Department and Women’s Studies Department, Duke University



PhD, MA,  History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2010, 2005)
BA, Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College (1998)

“Lost: Meanings of Miscarriage in Nineteenth-Century America,” under contract with Rutgers University Press

“Unusual Frontal Developments: Negotiating the Pregnant Body in Nineteenth-Century America,” Journal of Women’s History 27, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 160-183.

From Women’s Expectations to Scientific Specimens: The Fate of Miscarriage Materials in Nineteenth-Century America,” Social History of Medicine 28, no. 2 (May 2015): 245-262.

Blog posts
Happy Miscarriages: An Emotional History of Pregnancy Loss,” Nursing Clio, November 12, 2015

Pregnancy, Fear, and Conformity,” Nursing Clio, June 25, 2015


“Mrs. Max West: Women’s Work and the Development of Prenatal Health Care in the U.S., 1900-1940,” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, Hempstead, NY, June 2017.
“‘Like a Ship Upon a Stormy Sea’: Constructing the Prenatal in Prenatal Care,” American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, May 2016.
“Curious Productions: The Miscarried Fetus in Nineteenth-Century Medical Writings,” Symposium on Maternal and Fetal Bodies, Rutgers University, November 2013.
“Start Your Child Right: Prenatal Health Care in Early Twentieth-Century America,” American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, May 2013.
“Changing Bodies, Changing Behaviors: The Development of Prenatal Care in the U.S.,” Pennsylvania Hospital History of Women’s Health Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 2013.
“Babies in Jars: Early Endeavors in American Embryology,” History and Philosophy of Science Workshop, Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago, February 2012.
“Human Creatures: Miscarriage and Fetal Bodies in Nineteenth-Century America,” History Department Colloquia Series, Duke University, September 2011.
“The Imaginary Number 10: American Women’s Descriptions of their Pregnant Bodies, 1820-1900,” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Amherst, MA, June 2011.
“Enveloped in Mystery: Nineteenth-Century Embryology Through Miscarriage Materials,” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Montreal, ON, November 2010.
“’This little individual was taken from a lady’: Miscarriage Materials as Scientific Specimens,” Gender, Bodies & Technology Conference, Roanoke, VA, April 2010.
“Deciphering Clots: The Science of Nineteenth-Century Pregnancy Loss,” History of Science Colloquia Series, University of Wisconsin – Madison, February 2010.
“Death without Bodies: Nineteenth-Century Miscarriage,” American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting, Cleveland, OH, April 2009.
“A Possible Death: Miscarriage in Late Nineteenth-Century America,” Conference of Women’s History Network, Glasgow, U.K., September 2008.
“Doctors Defining Miscarriage: Meaning-Making of Pregnancy Loss in Nineteenth-Century America,” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Minneapolis, MN, June 2008.

Fellowships and Awards
Humanities Writ Large Grant, 2012, for the development and implementation of an innovative, cross-disciplinary course, “Narratives Gone Viral,” the Mellon Foundation initiative in Emerging Humanities Networks.
Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2012, for research at the ACOG archives, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
New Faculty Fellowship, 2011-2013, a very highly-competative program for recent Ph.D.s in the humanities, funding them for two-year postdoctoral positions as an ACLS-affiliated university or college, American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation.
Capstone Ph.D. Teaching Award, 2010, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Maurice L. Richardson Fellowship for graduate study in History of Medicine, 2010 and 2005, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
William Coleman Dissertation Fellowship in History of Science, 2009, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Letter and Sciences Teaching Fellow, 2008, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine, 2007-2008, Harvard University.
Bain Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship, 2007-2008, Smith College.

Women and Health in American History (cross-listed with Women’s Studies Dept.)
History of Modern Medicine
History of Reproduction (cross-listed with Women’s Studies Dept.)
United States of Germs
Health and Disease in the Southwest
History of the Body (graduate seminar, cross-listed with Women’s Studies Dept.)