Tribute to Judith Walzer Leavitt

The Department of Medical History and Bioethics announces a celebration of Professor Judith W. Leavitt on October 1-2, 2010 at the Pyle Center, University of Wisconsin Madison.

Friday night, October 1, celebratory dinner and reception

Saturday, October 2, 9- 4 pm.
“One Woman’s Labor:
Judith Leavitt’s Academic Contributions and Influence on the Profession”

In the last three decades, Professor Judy Leavitt has pursued an ambitious and far-reaching research program on the social history of childbirth, fatherhood, and Typhoid Mary. Her book, Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950, transformed the history of childbirth.  Hailed as “the most authoritative medical historical text on the subject in America”  and as “a book for men as well as women,” she sensitively and elegantly explored the trade-offs and decisions that informed the movement of birth from the home to the hospital.  Her next book, Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health, received similar accolades as has her most recent monograph, Make Room for Daddy: the Journey from the Waiting Room to the Birthing Room.  Using fathers’ first-hand accounts from letters, journals, and personal interviews, Judy charts the changing experiences and expectations of expectant fathers from the 1940s to the 1980s. Sensitive to both power and privilege, she explores the increasing involvement of fathers and the medical inequalities and the impact of race and class.  Even the reviewer for the Wall Street Journal (no friend to the women and gender studies movement) praised the book as “illuminating, engaging, and fascinating.”

Above all, she has inspired generations of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students as a teacher, as a mentor, and role model.  Her commitment to evidence, her investment in clarity of expression and argument, her sense of the human dimensions of historical events and actors have influenced her students and colleagues and we look forward to celebrating her life and legacy.

For more information about the program, please contact the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, 608-263-3414.


Susan E. Lederer
Robert Turell Professor of History of Medicine and Bioethics
Chair,Medical History and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
1300 University Ave. MSC 1420
Madison, WI 53706
608.262.4195
f. 608.265.0486

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Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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