Researcher biography

I am an Associate Lecturer and PhD candidate in History at the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at The University of Queensland. My doctoral research examines the intellectual and cultural history of the “false conception” within European scientific communities and societies across the period 1600 – 1800. False conceptions were pregnancies women experienced that did not result in the birth of infants, but so-called “lumps of formless flesh”. These pregnancies were widely known in early modern society, and sometimes believed to be the product of masturbation, bewitchment or sex with the Devil. While they were troubling phenomena in early modern societies, these strange conceptions also contributed to the development of ideas in reproductive medicine and embryological science.

I also research the cultural and medical history of pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and early modern women’s sexuality (which I have published on in the Journal of the History of Sexuality).