Brianna Theobald Headshot

Brianna Theobald

  • Associate Professor of History
  • Director of Graduate Studies

PhD, Arizona State University

Office Location
454 Rush Rhees Library

Office Hours: T 1:30-3:00pm and by appointment

Research Overview

Interests: U.S. Women's and Gender History; History of Native America; History of Reproduction

Dr. Brianna Theobald is an assistant professor of history and affiliate faculty in the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher in the fields of U.S. women’s and gender history, the history of Native America, and the history of reproduction. Her first book, Reproduction on the Reservation: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), explores the intersection of colonial and reproductive politics in Native America from the late nineteenth century to the present. This book has received multiple awards, including the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory. Theobald’s research on Native women’s history has appeared in academic publications including the Journal of Women’s History and The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, and she has also published in venues including Time Magazine and the Washington Post. She is currently working on two book-length projects, Making the Impossible Reality: Genealogies of Indigenous Women's Activism and Safe Haven: Feminisms and the Domestic Violence Movement.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • HIST  157:  History of Native America, 1800 to the Present, Syllabus
  • HIST 189:  Wives, Witches, and Wenches: Women in American History, Syllabus
  • HIST 200:  Gateway to History: Native American History, Syllabus
  • HIST 259W:  History of Feminism, Syllabus
  • HIST 260/W:  Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her World, Syllabus
  • HIST 276W:  Sports in U.S. History, Syllabus
  • HIST 359W/459:  Birth in the Nation, Syllabus
  • HIST 361W:  America and the World II , Syllabus

Selected Publication Covers

Reproduction on the Reservation: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Century  book cover.

Selected Publications

  • "Bringing Back Woman Knowledge: Indigenous Women and the Modern Midwifery Movement," Journal of Women's History 32, no. 4 (2020): 63-87.
  • Reproduction on the Reservation: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019).
         *Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Award, American Society for Ethnohistory
         *John C. Ewers Award, Western History Association
         *Armitage-Jameson Prize, Coalition for Western Women’s History
         *CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2020
  • “Native American Women in the Modern United States,” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (2019).
  • “Settler Colonialism, Native American Motherhood, and the Politics of Terminating Pregnancies.” In Transcending Borders: Abortion in the Past and Present, eds. Shannon Stettner et al. (London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017): 221-37.
  • “Nurse, Mother, Midwife: Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail and the Struggle for Crow Women’s Reproductive Autonomy,” Montana Magazine of Western History 66, no. 3 (2016): 17-35.
         *Arrell M. Gibson Award for best article in Native American history, Western History Association