Rodion Kosovsky

Rodion Kosovsky's picture
PhD Candidate
Research Areas: 
History of medicine; history of the US; history of sexuality; history of violence; feminism; social justice; psychological trauma; victims and perpetrators


Rodion Kosovsky is a PhD candidate in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University. He earned his BA/MA from the City College of New York and won several prizes for his work there. Broadly speaking, he focuses on the intersection between medical knowledge, gender, and social justice. His dissertation entitled “Unsafe Homes: A History of Domestic Violence in the US, 1930-1990” explores how feminist activists in the 1970s helped create the concept of psychological trauma and used it to effect legal, cultural, and political changes. They successfully challenged the prevailing idea that ‘wife-beating’ fulfilled the innate masochistic desires of women and helped restore gender harmony in the home. Psychological trauma became a way of recognizing and condemning the harm caused by emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. His dissertation also explores the discovery of battering in the lesbian/gay communities in the 1980s.