Naomi Rogers

Naomi Rogers's picture
Professor of the History of Medicine and History, Director of Graduate Studies 2022-2023
Sterling Hall of Medicine, Room L-128
333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06510-3206
Phone number: 
Research Areas: 
History of 20th century medicine & public health in North America including policy, activism, alternative medicine & gender and medicine; Science & feminism; Feminist health movements


History of 20th century medicine and public health in North America including health policy, health activism, alternative medicine, and gender and medicine; women’s studies including science and feminism, and feminist health movements.

Naomi Rogers’ professional interests range across the history of 20th-century America including disease, public health, gender and medicine, nursing, alternative medicine, health policy and medical education.

Selected Publications:

Works in Progress

Book tentatively titled “Shine a Little Light: Humanizing American Medicine, 1945-1980” (under contract, Oxford University Press), in process

A study of feminism, medicine and the state in the 1970s, in process

A study of China’s barefoot doctors and American health policy in the 1970s, in process


Polio Wars: Sister Kenny and the Golden Age of American Medicine (Oxford University Press, USA, 2013

An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998)

Dirt and Disease: Polio before FDR (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992) paperback and hardback editions; new paperback edition, 1998

Selected Articles

“Save Her for the Dean: Feminists Fight the Culture of Exclusion in American Medical Education, 1970-1990,” in Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine eds. Elizabeth Fee, Ellen More and Manon Perry (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 205-241

“Polio Chronicles: Warm Springs and Disability Politics in the 1930s. Asclepio (2009) 61: 143-174

“Explaining Everything: The Power and Perils of Reading Rosenberg,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (2008) 63: 423-434.

“Silence has its Own Stories: Elizabeth Kenny, Polio and the Culture of Medicine,” Social History of Medicine. (2008) 21: 145-161

“American Medicine and the Politics of Filmmaking: Sister Kenny” (RKO, 1946), in Medicine’s Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television eds. Leslie J. Reagan, Nancy Tomes and Paula A. Treichler (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2007), 199-238 

“Race and the Politics of Polio: Warm Springs, Tuskegee and the March of Dimes, American Journal of Public Health (2007) 97: 2-13.

“Polio can be Cured: Science and Health Propaganda in the United States from Polio Polly to Jonas Salk” in John Ward and Christopher Warren, eds., Silent Victories: The History and Practice of Public Health in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 81-101

“Vegetables on Parade: American Medicine and Child Health Education in the Jazz Age,” in Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag, eds. Children’s Health Issues in Historical Perspective (Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2005), 23-71

“Sister Kenny Goes to Washington: Polio, Populism and Medical Politics in Postwar America,” in Robert D. Johnston, ed., The Politics of Healing: Histories of Alternative Medicine in Twentieth-Century North America (New York: Routledge, 2004), 97-116

“Teaching Women’s Health into the 21st Century” (with Janet Henrich) Women and Health (2003) 37: 69-79; repr. in “Teaching Gender, Teaching Women’s Health: Case Studies in Medical and Health Science Education” ed. Lenore Manderson (Haworth Press, 2003) 69-79

“The Public Face of Honeopathy: Politics, the Public and Alternative Medicine in the United States 1900-1940,” in Martin Dinges, ed., Patients in the History of Homeopathy (Sheffield: European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Publications, 2002), 351-371

“Caution: The AMA May be Dangerous to your Health: The Student Health Organizations (SHO) and American Medicine, 1965-1970,” Radical History Review (2001) 80: 5-34

“A Disease of Cleanliness: Polio in New York City, 1900-1990,” in David Rosner, ed., Hives of Sickness: Public Health and Epidemics in New York City Rutgers University Press, 1995, pp. 115-130

“Germs with Legs: Flies, Disease, and the New Public Health,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (1989) 63: 599-617

“Dirt, Flies and Immigrants: Explaining the Epidemiology of Poliomyelitis,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (1989) 44: 486-505; reprinted in Judith Walzer. Leavitt and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., Sickness and Health in America: Readings in the History of Medicine and Public Health University of Wisconsin Press, 1997, pp. 543-554



Melbourne University: B.A. (Honors) 1979

Melbourne University: B.Mus. 1980

University of Pennsylvania: M.A. 1986

University of Pennsylvania:  Ph.D. 1986