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Letter from the Chair

Leslie J. Reagan

Professor of History
Professor of EUI
Professor of Gender and Women's Studies

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Contact Info

Areas of Specialization

U.S. medicine and public health, history of women and gender

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Twentieth-century U.S. history; medicine, public health, and science; women, gender, sexuality; and law.

Research Description

  • Current Research Projects

    Agent Orange, Film, and Activism in the United States and Vietnam 

    Monsters in the News:  Thalidomide, Gender and the Media. 

    Examining the Body: In Medicine and Law.


  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison

Distinctions / Awards

  • Surrency Award, Honorable Mention, 2009, Society for LegalHistory
  • Inaugural Faculty Award for Research in the Humanities, 2010 Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) for “Rashes, Rights, and Wrongs in the Hospital and in the Courtroom” Law and History Review (Summer 2009).
  • James Willard Hurst Book Award, 1998, Law and Society Association; Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year, 1997; President's Book Award, 1995, Social Science History Assn. for When Abortion Was a Crime.
  • Louis Pelzer Memorial Award, 1990, from the Organization of American Historians
  • Graduate Advisor Award, Medical Scholars Program, UIC College of Medicine, Urbana, 2009.
  • List of Excellent Teachers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



  • Reagan, Leslie J. Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America. . Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.
  • Medicine’s Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television. . Comp. Nancy Tomes and Paula A. Treichler. Ed. Leslie J. Reagan. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester Press, 2007.
  • Reagan, Leslie J. When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973. . . Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

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Book Contributions

  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“Law and Medicine,” ." Cambridge History of Law in America. . Ed. Christopher Tomlines. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Chap. 7.

  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“Projecting Breast Cancer: Self-Examination Films and the Making of a New Cultural Practice”." Medicine’s Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television. . Ed. Leslie J. Reagan, Nancy Tomes, and Paula A. Treichler. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2007. 163-195.

  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“Medicine, Law, and the State: The History of Reproduction,” ." Companion to American Women’s History. . Ed. Nancy A. Hewitt. New York and London: Blackwell Publishers, 2002. 348-365.

Journal Articles

  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“Representations and Reproductive Hazards of Agent Orange.” ." Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 39.1 (2011):
  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“Rashes, Rights, and Wrongs in the Hospital and in the Courtroom: German Measles, Abortion, and Malpractice Before Roe and Doe.” ." Law and History Review 27.2 (2009):
  • Reagan, Leslie J. "“From Hazard to Blessing to Tragedy: Representations of Miscarriage in Twentieth-Century America.” ." Feminist Studies 29.2 (2003): 356-378..
  • Reagan, Leslie J. ""Crossing the Border for Abortions: California Activists, Mexican Clinics, and the Creation of a Feminist Health Agency in the 1960s," ." Feminist Studies, special issue on Women and Health 26.2 (2000): 323-348.
  • Reagan, Leslie J. ""Engendering the Dread Disease: Women, Men, and Cancer," ." American Journal of Public Health, 150th anniversary issue, 87.11 (1997): 1779-1787..
  • ""Linking Midwives and Abortion in the Progressive Era,"." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 69 (1995): 569-598.
  • Reagan, Leslie J. ""'About to Meet Her Maker': Women, Doctors, Dying Declarations, and the State's Investigation of Abortion, Chicago, 1867-1940," ." Journal of American History 77.4 (1991): 1240-1264.