Margaret Carlyle

Assistant Professor

Office: ART 247

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

History of science, technology, and medicine; history of reproduction and the life sciences; gender and women's studies; history of the body; material culture; science and race in the Atlantic world.

Courses & Teaching

Courses in 2020–21: HIST 218: History of Science; HIST 310A (Topics in the History of Medicine & Disease): Reproduction & Motherhood in Multimedia—1700–present; HIST 383C (Special Topics in Social & Culture History): Race, Gender, & Science in the Early Altantic World


Before joining the University of British Columbia Okanagan, I held positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Cambridge.

Graduate Student Supervision
I am happy to supervise projects in the history of science, medicine, and technology broadly construed. Please email me to discuss your thesis topic.


PhD, McGill University
MA, McGill University
BA, University of Winnipeg

Research Interests & Projects

I’m an historian of science, medicine, and technology with specialization in early modern France in both European and global contexts. My current research focuses on women’s role in the formation of scientific knowledge—as experimentalists, artisans, and translators. I engage with archival and museum sources, including manuscripts, printed texts, drawings, engravings, and objects. My themes of interest include: the visual culture of science; medical techniques and technologies; race, gender, and the body.

I am currently completing two book projects. The first, Cultures of Anatomy in Enlightenment France, shows that while the eighteenth century was not an age of ‘breakthroughs’ in human anatomy, it was a dynamic time of disciplinary ferment that opened up doors to new practitioners and practices. My second book project, Delivering the Enlightenment, uses the history of technologies and techniques to tell a new story about the transition from female-led midwifery to male-dominated obstetrics.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Articles & book chapters

Co-authored (with Brian Callender), “The Fetus in Utero: From Mystery to Social Media,” KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 3:1 (Spring 2019): 15–67

“Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux D’Arconville (née Darlus), Traité d’Ostéologie (Paris, 1759),” Many Women, Many Voices: Stories from the McGill Collections, Rare & Special Collections, Osler, Art, & Archives (ROARR) (Montréal: McGill, 2018), 39–40

“Phantoms in the Classroom: Midwifery Training in Enlightenment Europe,” KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 2:1 (Spring 2018): 111–36

“Artisans, Patrons, & Enlightenment: The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge from Paris to St. Petersburg,” R. de Bont, K. Wils, & S. Au, eds. Bodies Beyond Borders: Moving Anatomies 1750-1950 (Leuven University Press, 2017), 23–49

“Breastpump technology & ‘natural’ motherly milk in Enlightenment France,” K. Qureshi & E. Rahman, eds. Women’s Studies International Forum, Special issue on Infant feeding: medicine, the state & body techniques 60 (2017): 89–96

“Collecting the world in her boudoir: women & scientific amateurism in eighteenth-century Paris,” M. Lindemann et al, eds. Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Forum on women in science, 11:1 (Fall 2016): 149–61

“Entre le Traité d’ostéologie et les Leçons de chymie : Mme d’Arconville, traductrice des Lumières [Between the Traité d’ostéologie & the Leçons de chymie: Mme d’Arconville, translator of Enlightenment],” M.-L. Girou Swiderski & M.A. Bernier, eds., Madame d’Arconville, moraliste et chimiste au siècle des Lumières (Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment. 2015), 183–210

“From Practice to Print: Women Crafting Authority at the Margins of Orthodox Medicine,” Studies in Book Culture/Mémoires du livre 6:1 (Spring 2014): 28pp

“Entre manuscrits et maquettes: L’Entretien sur l’opinion de Copernic de Jeanne Dumée [Between manuscripts & models: Jeanne Dumée’s L’Entretien sur l’opinion de Copernic],” A. Gargam & B. Lançon, eds., Les femmes de sciences: Réalités et représentations, de l’Antiquité au XIXe siècle (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014), 115–34

Co-authored (with James Wallace), “Making Mechanics Modern: Mary Somerville’s Translation of Franco-Newtonian Science,” K. Barclay & D. Simonton, eds., Women in Eighteenth-century Scotland: Intimate, Intellectual & Public Lives (Burlington: Ashgate, 2013), 133–52

“Femme de sciences, femme d’esprit: ‘le Traducteur des Leçons de Chymie’ [Woman of science, woman of letters : ‘the translator of Leçons de Chymie],” P. Bret & B. van Tiggelen, eds., Madame d’Arconville (1720–1805): Une femme de lettres et de sciences au siècle des Lumières (Paris: Éditions Hermann, 2011), 71–92

“Invisible Assistants & Translated Texts: d’Arconville & Practical Chemistry in Enlightenment France,” D. Andréolle & V. Molinari, eds., Women & Science, 17th Century to Present: Pioneers, Activists & Protagonists (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), 19–34

Special Exhibition

Co-curated (with Brian Callender), “The Fetus in Utero: From Mystery to Social Media,” Special Collections Exhibition, University of Chicago Regenstein Library, Winter 2019

Selected Grants & Awards

Previous research awards include: Mary Louise Nickerson Travel Grant (2019) and Dr. Edward H. Bensley (2018), Osler Library of the History of Medicine; Molina Fellow in History of Medicine & Allied Sciences, Huntington Library (2014)


Interviews, Press, & Invited Posts

Helping Hands: Uncovering and Eighteenth-century Midwifery Manual,” Library Matters, McGill University, May 2020

In Search of Plagues Past,” Formations: The SIFK Blog, Univeristy of Chicago, April 2020

How did the Fetal Ultrasound Become Such an Iconic Image?,” Formations: The SIFK Blog, University of Chicago, March 2019

Mysteries of the Womb,” The Chicago Tribune, February 12 2019

Embryonic Enigmas & Fetal Fantasies at Special Collections,” The Maroon, U Chicago, January 25 2019

Anatomizing Thomas Rowlandson’s Representation of William Hunter’s Dissecting Room,” Library Matters, McGill University, September 2018

Unwrapping a new medical receipt book,” Wangensteen Historical Library, U Minnesota, July 2017

Interview Richard Edwards, “History of Medicine,” Secrets of the Human Body special issue, Science Uncovered, May 2014

Technological Objection of the Month: Midwifery Manikin,” U Cambridge, Literary Technology Media, February 2014

Skeletons in the cupboard of medical science,” U Cambridge feature interview, 13 February 2014


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