Carla Bittel

Associate Professor of History
Loyola Marymount University

Department of History

One LMU Dr., Suite 3500
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659
Phone: 310-338-2951

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2003.
M.A., Cornell University, 1999.
B.A., University of California, Davis, 1995.

The United States & the World; Health and Disease in American Culture; History of Childhood and the Family; Gender, Technology, and the Body; The Civil War; Imagining Lincoln.

Carla Bittel is a historian of nineteenth-century America, who specializes in the history of medicine and science. Her research focuses on gender issues, and she has written on the history of women’s health, women physicians, and the role of science in medicine.

Her first book, Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Politics of Medicine in Nineteenth-Century America, is a biographical study of New York physician and activist, Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906). Bittel uses Jacobi to analyze the contestations over women’s health and medical knowledge in the late nineteenth century.

Her new research examines the intersections of phrenology and gender politics in the pre-Civil War era.



Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Politics of Medicine in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009).


“Woman, Know Thyself: Producing and Using Phrenological Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century America,” in Beyond the Academy: Histories of Gender and Knowledge, Christine von Oertzen, Maria Rentetzi, and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, eds. Centaurus 55 (May 2013): 104-130.

• “A Literary Physician? The Paris Writings of Mary Putnam Jacobi” in Communicating Disease: Cultural Representations of American Medicine, Carmen Birkle and Johanna Heil, eds. (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013).

• “Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Nineteenth-Century Politics of Women’s Health Research” in Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine Ellen More, Elizabeth Fee, and Manon Parry, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, December 2008), 23-51.

“Science, Suffrage, and Experimentation: Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Controversy Over Vivisection in Late Nineteenth-Century America” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 79 (Winter 2005): 664-694.
Winner of the 2006 Judith Lee Ridge Article Prize, Western Association of Women Historians.

Selected Honors and Awards:

• National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipends, Summer 2014.
• Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency, New York State Library, 2013.
• Bellarmine Research Award, Loyola Marymount University, 2012-2013.
• Summer Research Grant, Loyola Marymount University, Summer 2010.
• National Science Foundation, Scholars Award, September 2007-August 2008.
• Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, Research Fellowship, 2007.
• The Bellarmine College Fellowship, Loyola Marymount University, Spring 2007.
• Judith Lee Ridge Article Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2006.
• The Huntington Library, Mayers Fellowship and Helen Bing Fellowship, January-May 2006.