Dr Katharina Rowold

Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Dr Katharina Rowold



I am a social and cultural historian whose research centres on infancy, childhood, and motherhood. I studied at the University of Salamanca, before coming to the UK and finishing my BA in Modern History at the University of London. I then completed a PhD in the History of Medicine at UCL. Before joining Essex in 2022, I held posts at University College London, London Metropolitan University, and the University of Roehampton. My research focuses on infancy and motherhood in Britain and transnationally. I have published a series of related articles in Medical History, Cultural and Social History and other journals. Currently, my research follows two strands. Firstly, I am writing a book on the history of breastfeeding in Britain from 1850 to 1950, which examines the relationship between ideologies of breastfeeding, changing understandings of infancy and motherhood, and women's lived experiences. Secondly, I am working on a project that considers the history of residential care for babies in the twentieth century. Previously, my research has focused on comparative intersections of gender, science, and feminism, which led to a monograph entitled The Educated Woman: Minds, Bodies, and Women’s Higher Education in Britain, Germany, and Spain, 1865-1914. I welcome proposals for PhDs in any area relating to Childhood Studies, but particularly in relation to the history of childhood and infancy, the history of psychoanalysis and child psychology, and the medical humanities.


  • BA University of London,

  • PhD University College London,


University of Essex

  • Programme Director, BA Childhood Studies, University of Essex (3/4/2023 - present)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Childhood Studies (PA140)

  • The Social History of Childhood (PA234)

  • Teaching and Learning with Children: A Psychosocial Approach (PA332)

  • Dissertation (PA900)

  • Critical Debates in Childhood and Childhood Studies (PA943)

  • Placement Year (PA500)


Journal articles (13)

Rowold, K. and Cullen, N., (2023). Mothers’ Milk and Mothers' Time: Childcare Advice and the Conceptualization of Demand Feeding in Post-1945 Britain and Italy. Historical Journal. 67 (1), 102-123

Rowold, K., (2021). De quoi un bébé a-t-il besoin pour s’épanouir ? Les différentes interprétations de l’hospitalisme, dans le contexte international, entre 1900 et 1945. Devenir: Revue européenne du développement de l'enfant. 33 (4), 311-340

Rowold, K., (2019). ‘If We Are to Believe the Psychologists …’: Medicine, Psychoanalysis and Breastfeeding in Britain, 1900–55. Medical History. 63 (1), 61-81

Rowold, K., (2019). Other Mothers’ Milk: From Wet Nursing to Human Milk Banking in England, 1900-1950. Cultural and Social History. 16 (5), 603-620

Rowold, K., (2019). Modern Mothers, Modern Babies: Breastfeeding and Mother’s Milk in Interwar Britain. Women's History Review. 28 (7), 1157-1176

Rowold, K., (2018). What Do Babies Need to Thrive? Changing Interpretations of ‘Hospitalism’ in an International Context, 1900–1945. Social History of Medicine. 32 (4), 799-818

Rowold, K., (2013). Johanna Haarer and Frederic Truby King: When is a Babycare Manual an Instrument of National Socialism?. German History. 31 (2), 181-203

Bland, L. and Rowold, K., (2013). Introduction. Women's History Review. 22 (4), 521-523

Rowold, K., (2011). Cultures of Abortion in Weimar Germany. Medical History. 55 (1), 131-132

Rowold, K., (2009). Medicina, historia y género: 130 años de investigación feminista, 599-600

Rowold, K., (2001). The many lives and deaths of Sofia Kovalevskaia: Approaches to women's role in scholarship and culture in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century. WOMENS HISTORY REVIEW. 10 (4), 603-627

Rowold, K., (2001). The Many Lives and Deaths of Sofia Kovalevskaia: Approaches to Women's Role in Scholarship and Culture in Germany at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Women's History Review. 10 (4), 603-628

Rowold, K., (1999). Book Review: Women and Science, Osiris. History of Science. 37 (1), 114-115

Books (3)

Bland, L. and Rowold, K., (2015). Reconsidering Women's History. Routledge. 1317576195. 9781317576198

Rowold, K., (2010). The Educated Woman: Minds, Bodies, and Women's Higher Education in Britain, Germany, and Spain, 1865-1914. Routledge. 1134625847. 9781134625840

Rowold, K., (1996). Gender and Science: Late Nineteenth-Century Debates on the Female Mind and Body. Thoemmes

Book chapters (3)

Rowold, K., (2014). 'Feminismo y darwinismo en Europa a fines del siglo XIX. In: Resistir o derribar los muros: mujeres, discurso y poder en el siglo XIX. Editors: Morales Sánchez, I., Cantos Casenave, M. and Espigado Tocino, G., . 385- 399

Rowold, K., (2007). 'Twenty Centuries of Christianity Weigh Heavily on Women's Brains ...': Anarchism, Science, and Women's Nature in Spain at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. In: Medicine, Madness and Social History. Editors: Bivins, R. and Pickstone, J., . Palgrave Macmillan UK. 139- 147. 9780230525498

Rowold, K., (1998). A Male Mind in a Female Body: Sexology, Homosexuality and the Woman Question in Germany, 1869–1914. In: From Physico-Theology to Bio-Technology: Essays in the Social and Cultural History of Biosciences. Editors: Bayertz, K. and Porter, R., . BRILL. 153- 179. 9789042005013

Other (1)

Bland, L. and Rowold, K., (2013).Looking Back - Looking Forward. Women's History Review. 22(4)

Grants and funding


Institutions and Infant Care: Foundling Hospitals and Residential Homes for Babies in Twentieth-Century Europe

Arts and Humanities Research Council



5B.104, Colchester Campus

More about me