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.

  • Gender and Trauma, 1900-present (co-edited with Christina Twomey, Monash University). Do different cultures experience trauma differently? Can we discern commonalities across time and space, despite changing clinical and vernacular vocabularies? Drawing together case studies from around the globe, this volume puts gender at the centre of analysis in understanding the evolution of ideas and practices across the 20th century and beyond of what we today term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The history of PTSD is typically written as a straight line from shell shock in World War I, through war neurosis in World War II, to post-Vietnam syndrome. Entering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s third edition in 1980, PTSD codified our contemporary understanding of a distinct cluster of symptoms that emerge in the wake of a profoundly distressing situation. Authored by scholars from Australia, the US, and UK, the contributions to this volume chronicle fluctating understandings of the psychological, legal, political, and social implications of emotional distress by men and women, on and off the battlefield.

  • Soviet Medical Diplomacy examines the role of Soviet medical cadres as tools of soft diplomacy and citizen diplomacy from the opening of extensive exchange agreements in the late 1950s through the collapse of the USSR in 1991. This study plaits the stories of three parallel initiatives: (1) sponsoring of medical students from the developing world for education in the USSR; (2) deploying Soviet medical cadres to the Global South as a form of developmental aid; (3) promoting peace through antinuclear activism. By examining the Soviet Union's pathbreaking use of medical diplomacy, this project contributes to our understanding of Soviet foreign policy strategies and broadens our conceptualisation of medical and health diplomacy.

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., 21 Aug 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., 21 Aug 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.), 21 Aug 2018, 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 2019

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Cofund Individual Grants

Paula Michaels (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: External Academic EngagementGrant review responsibilities

Association for Women in Slavic Studies Biennial Conference

Paula Michaels (Organiser)
2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Rendering Women Visible in the History of Obstetric Pain Management

Paula Michaels (Contributor)
8 Mar 2019

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Labour History (Journal)

Paula Michaels (Peer reviewer)
2019

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

Assessor

Paula Michaels (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: External Academic EngagementGrant review responsibilities

Press / Media

The Soviet Origins of the Lamaze Method

Paula Michaels

20/03/19

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Profile/Interview

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