History of American medicine; gender and science; medical technology; history of medicine and capitalism
Jenna’s research centers on the history of medicine and biomedical technologies in the United States, with an emphasis on issues of gender and reproduction. Her current book project explores the history of the reproductive “biological clock” in America. The project focuses on the late twentieth century, when the twin crises of teen and delayed pregnancy prompted new debates about the medical and social risks of “untimely” parenthood. Jenna is particularly interested in how reproductive technologies such as IVF and egg donation were applied to the problem of reproductive aging. In addition, Jenna’s research is concerned with the intersection of medicine and the marketplace, including the development of the global fertility industry after 1980.
Previous research projects include a history of childfree activism in the 1970s (published in the Journal of Women’s History) as well as psychological debates about animal intelligence in early-twentieth-century France (co-authored with Sofie Lachapelle in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences).