UCL Institute of the Americas


Dr Elizabeth Evens

Regulating Women: Female Professionals and Gendered Surveillance  in the Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century United States


PhD completed in 2021 | > UCL Discovery - open access


Professor Jonathan Bell and Dr Nick Witham


This project was funded by a Wolfson Scholarship in the Humanities.

Elizabeth Evens
My research interests sit at the intersections of the history of gender and sexuality, medicine, and surveillance. My PhD thesis examines the first women in medicine, policing, and corrections in the Progressive era United States. Women’s entrance to these male-dominated professions coincided with new, far-ranging prohibitions on female sexuality and reproduction, including the criminalisation of abortion, regulation of sex work, and eugenic lawmaking. I argue that these two phenomena were not simply coincidental, but profoundly interconnected. Would-be state and private regulators needed to devise new methods and personnel to intervene in women’s intimate lives; enter the female professional.

After my doctoral studies, I hope to pursue a career in women’s health.