Paige Donaghy

Affiliated Scholar (Jun 2022-Sep 2022)

Paige Donaghy is a final-year PhD candidate in history at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at MPIWG, where she is completing research in the working group “Experience in the Premodern Sciences of Soul and Body ca. 800–1650.” Her project examines the role of uncertainty in knowledge-making about generation and pregnancy in early modern Europe. During her time at MPIWG, she will be completing research related to her thesis, which explores how medical scholars and lay people translated uncertain experiences of generation into accepted knowledge.

Donaghy has presented her research at international conferences and has published in various journals, including Journal of the History of Sexuality and Social History of Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her research and teaching, including her article published in Intellectual History Review, which was runner-up for the 2019 Charles Schmitt Prize and was recently selected for the 2021 Patricia Crawford Prize. In 2022 Donaghy was also awarded the inaugural Berlin Residency Award from the University of Queensland.



  • “Miscarriage, False Conceptions, and Other Lumps: Women’s Pregnancy Loss in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England.” Social History of Medicine, 34, no.4 (2021): 1138-1160

  • “Wind eggs and false conceptions: thinking with formless births in seventeenth-century European natural philosophy.” Intellectual History Review 32, no.2 (2022): doi: 10.1080/17496977.2021.1896807.

  • “Before Onanism: Women’s Masturbation in Seventeenth-Century England.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, 29, no.2, 187-221.

  • Paige Donaghy and Karin Sellberg, “Feminist Historiography.” In Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender: Time, edited by Karin Sellberg, 67-84. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan

  • “Lascivious virgins and lustful itches: women’s masturbation in early England.” The Conversation, March 25, 2019,


The Experience of Uncertainty: Generation in European Medicine, 1500–1650


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