Jordan Katz

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Columbia University

2018 to 2019
Dissertation Fellow

Jewish Midwives, Medicine and the Boundaries of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, 1650-1800

Jewish women in Early Modern Europe frequently served as midwives, healers, and medical consultants, yet their contribution to the production and transmission of knowledge has garnered little attention from historians. Such an inquiry is important for understanding the forms of knowledge that shaped seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European Jewish communities. This dissertation analyzes communal and personal records, legal sources, midwifery handbooks, and bureaucratic archives concerning Jewish midwives in Northern Europe in order to examine their role both within the Jewish community and within the medical marketplace. By exploring the intersection of different forms of expertise, this project reconsiders the boundaries of knowledge and power between physicians, rabbis, communal leaders, and midwives.
Read more about Jordan's work here.