Dr Paula Michaels

Paula Michaels’ research and teaching focuses on twentieth-century world history. Her 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.  Her teaching is also part of Monash University’s International Studies program.

Michaels studies the history of medicine, and is especially interested in the ways that medicine is mobilised to further political and social objectives. She is currently researching the gendered history of psychological trauma, from hysteria to PTSD.

In 2017, Michaels was elected Vice President/President-Elect of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. She also serves on committees for the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Western Association of Women Historians.


  • A review of Lamaze: An International History from French historian of medicine and president of the Société d’Histoire de la Naissance, Marie-France Morel:  http://www.laviedesidees.fr/L-accouchement-une-longue-histoire.html Read more
  • Writing for the Oxford University Press Blog, Paula Michaels reflects on Elisabeth Bing’s life, her impact on American maternity care, and the challenges ahead: http://blog.oup.com/2015/06/elisabeth-bing-american-revolution-birth Read more
  • Writing in the London Review of Books, Elaine Glaser describes Lamaze: An International History as “fascinating.” (NB: the review is behind a pay wall, but if you are affiliated with a university you can access the review through your library’s portal. Monash staff and students, click here) Read more
  • Discussing the history of natural childbirth and her book Lamaze: An International History, Paula Michaels appeared on Dublin, Ireland’s Montcrieff Show on NewsTalk Radio. You can listen to the interview here. It begins about 5 minutes into this segment of the show. Read more
  • Lamaze: An International History (Oxford University Press, 2014) has received the 2015 Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, which recognises the best monograph in the field of history published by a member of the Western Association of Women Historians. The citation reads: In her innovative and engaging new book, Lamaze: An International History, Paula A. Michaels tells the unexpected story of how what “natural ... Read more
  • At its annual meeting, held this year in San Antonio, Texas, the Association for Women in Slavic Studies announced that Lamaze: An International History (Oxford University Press, 2014) received Honourable Mention for its Heldt Prize. The citation reads as follows: Dr. Paula Michaels’ Lamaze: An International History offers a fascinating recounting of the history of the well-known method of relaxation ... Read more
  • Rutgers University historian Janet Golden interviews Paula Michaels about the history of the Lamaze method for the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s medicine and health blog, “The Public’s Health”: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/The-politics-of-childbirth-An-interview-with-Paula-Michaels.html  Read more
  • Writing in Nursing Clio, Michaels seeks to generate conversation about the ACA’s impact on women’s health care beyond the controversial contraceptive mandate. Is the implementation of the ACA an opportunity for much needed reform? http://nursingclio.org/2014/08/21/a-doula-in-every-birthing-suite/  Read more
  • Lamaze: An International History has been shortlisted for the General History Prize of the NSW Premier’s History Award. The citation reads: “This exceptionally fine book … tells this story within a richly woven context, which encompasses the Cold War, the 1950s culture of consensus, the 1960s culture of conflict, and changing role of women and ... Read more
  • Paula Michaels contributes to the blog Nursing Clio, which features writing at the intersection of history of medicine and contemporary political and social issues, with “Natural Childbirth: A Communist Plot?“ Read more