Kate Grauvogel is a PhD candidate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine at Indiana University-Bloomington where she is currently working on her dissertation, “A Gendered History of Pathology: Women, Blood Clots, and Hormones, 1784–1963.” Grauvogel has an MA in History and a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. She worked as an associate instructor in the Human Biology program and the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine Department at Indiana. Her research has been supported by a number of fellowships, including an upcoming History of Women in Medicine Research Fellowship at the Countway Library of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts where she is scheduled to conduct research in June.
In her dissertation, Kate explores changing understandings of blood clots and their associations first with pregnancy and cancer, and later with oral contraceptives, to address the crucial roles that women played in the formation of pathology and public health in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawing from lying-in records, textbooks, and anatomical atlases, she shows how Charles White, Jean Cruveilhier, and Rudolf Virchow conducted research on women’s bodies to determine how blood clots and associated diseases spread. She also uses research reports by chemists EA Doisey and Carl Djerassi who developed the Pill, and correspondence by Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett to show the tensions that emerged between feminists who supported the Pill because it gave women more control over reproduction, and researchers who warned of its deleterious effects.