Paula Michaels

Assoc Professor

19962019
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Personal profile

Research interests

Paula Michaels’ work bridges the histories of Eastern and Western Europe, integrating the USSR into a pan-European and global narrative through the study of social and cultural history. More recently her research has reached into the histories of North America and Australia.

Michaels is especially interested in the ways that medicine is mobilised to further political and social objectives. She is currently pursuing two major projects.

  • Trauma and Birth: A Twentieth-Century History takes a comparative approach toward the histories of childbirth in the US, UK, and USSR to ask whether the aftermath of traumatic experiences--clinically codified today as post-traumatic stress disorder--can be understood as a transhistorical, transcultural phenomenon. Despite being safer, is birth today more traumatic for women, thirty per cent of whom show some symptoms of PTSD six weeks after birth? Are women’s experiences of emotional distress during and after childbirth analogous to those a century ago? Is psychological birth trauma experienced and expressed—in the mind and in the body—in ways that suggest continuity or change over time?

  • Physicians in the Global Antinuclear Movement, 1961-1991 will analyze the influential and enduring role played by physicians in the fight against nuclear war. This book will engage questions of civil society, citizen diplomacy, and political activism in a comparative, transnational framework. With a focus on physician antinuclear activism in the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, The Final Epidemic asks: how did physicians draw on their medical expertise to make the case against nuclear war? How did they leverage their professional reputations and the public’s trust to gain support for their political agenda? What role did international medical networks play in the peace movement? 

Supervision interests

Michaels welcomes inquires from potential honours and postgraduate students in the history of medicine, gender history, and Russian, East European, and Eurasian history.

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Childbirth
  • Trauma
  • Modern Europe
  • Imperial history
  • Russia/USSR
  • Kazakhstan/Central Asia

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2019

Research Output 1996 2018

Childbirth and trauma, 1940s to 1980s

Michaels, P. A., Jan 2018, In : Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. 73, 1, p. 52-72 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

'One of the most vulnerable times in your life': expectations and emotional experiences of support in the early postnatal period

Johnston-Ataata, K., Kokanovic, R. & Michaels, P. A., 2018, Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenthood. Kokanovic, R., Michaels, P. A. & Johnston-Ataata, K. (eds.). 1st ed. Gateway East Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 187-214 28 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Pain and suffering in labour and birth

Michaels, P. A., 2018, Paths To Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenthood. Kokanovic, R., Michaels, P. A. & Johnston-Ataata, K. (eds.). 1st ed. Gateway East Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 69-92 24 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting Experiences

Kokanovic, R. (ed.), Michaels, P. A. (ed.) & Johnston-Ataata, K. (ed.), 2018, (Accepted/In press) Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. 254 p.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited BookOther

Socialist Science across Borders: Investigating Pain in Soviet and Czechoslovakian Maternity Care

Hresanova, E. & Michaels, P. A., 2018, In : Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest. 49, 1, p. 45-69 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Activities 2013 2018

Medical Humanities (Journal)

Paula Michaels (Peer reviewer)
2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review responsibility

Traumatic Birth: A Conversation

Paula Michaels (Contributor), Elizabeth Anne Sutton (Contributor), Nicole Highet (Contributor)
13 Nov 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event

Department of Community Health Sciences

Paula Michaels (Visiting researcher)
12 Nov 201717 Nov 2017

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Lexington Books (Publisher)

Paula Michaels (Peer reviewer)
2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review responsibility

The Johns Hopkins University Press (Publisher)

Paula Michaels (Peer reviewer)
2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review responsibility

Press / Media

Explainer: Putin

Paula Michaels

31/01/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

The Women of the Revolution, Life Matters, Radio National

Paula Michaels

8/11/17

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

On Russia, Evenings, ABC Radio-Melbourne

Paula Michaels

7/06/17

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

What Not to Expect When Expecting

Paula Michaels

8/03/17

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Diagnosing Donald Trump

Paula Michaels

6/09/16

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment