Joan Cadden, Professor Emerita of History at the University of California, Davis, is a historian of medieval science. The foci of her research have been (1) questions related to gender and sexuality in scholastic texts on natural philosophy and theoretical medicine and (2) women's understanding and deployment of scientific and medical concepts.
She is the author of Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge, 1993), winner of the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize, and of Nothing Natural Is Shameful: Science and Sodomy in Late Medieval Europe (Philadelphia, 2013), which centers on problema IV.26 of Pietro d'Abano's Expositio Problematum Aristotelis. In addition, she has published articles on the scientific and medical knowledge of Hrotsvit von Gandersheim, Hildegard von Bingen, and Christine de Pisan.
Cadden taught undergraduate and graduate courses on medieval and early modern science and medicine for thirty-five years. She received awards for mentorship and was honored as a Foremother by the Society of Medieval Feminist Scholarship.