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Cara Delay

Associate Professor

Address: Maybank 327
Office Hours: Dr. Delay is teaching abroad in Italy this semester.

Cara Delay is a historian with degrees from Boston College and Brandeis University. Her research focuses on Irish women and gender in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the history of motherhood and childbirth, and women's health. She has received awards and fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the American Association of University Women, the Coordinating Council of Women in History, and the American Conference for Irish Studies.
Her current research investigates women’s experiences of reproduction, contraception, abortion, and motherhood in twentieth-century Ireland.
As part of the Women's Health Research Team, Dr. Delay led research on "Reproductive Health Histories," an oral history project focusing on women's reproductive experiences in South Carolina.


Ph.D., Brandeis University

Research Interests

European Women's and Gender History; Modern Britain and Ireland; History of Reproduction and Childbirth

Courses Taught

HONS 391 ST: The Great Hunger-Famine in Ireland
HIST 241 ST: Imagining Europe: The Twentieth Century
HIST 241 ST: Modern Ireland
HIST 241 ST: Birth and Bodies: A History of Reproduction
HIST 252: Women in Europe
HIST 299: The Historian's Craft
HIST 441: Research Seminar: War, Trauma, and Memory in Twentieth-Century Europe
HIST 640: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe (graduate course)

HIST 347: Women in Britain and Ireland, 1700-1914

Honors and Awards

2012-2013 Research Fulbright at The University College Dublin Humanities Institute, Ireland. Recipient of grants and awards from The American Association of University Women and the American Conference for Irish Studies.



“From the Backstreet to Britain: Women and Abortion Travel in Modern Ireland.” Forthcoming in Travellin’ Mama: Mothers, Mothering, and Travel, eds. Charlotte Beyer, Janet MacLennan, Dorsía Smith Silva, and Marjorie Tesser, Demeter Press, 2018.

Cara Delay, Beth Sundstrom, Andrea DeMaria, and Kristin Brig, “‘Going Back’: Spirituality and Cultural Traditions in South Carolina Women’s Childbirth Experiences.” Forthcoming in Childbirth and Spirituality, edited by Marianne Delaporte and Morag Martin, Lexington Books, 2018.

Meier, S., Sundstrom, B., DeMaria, A.L., & Delay, C. “Beyond a Legacy of Coercion: Long-acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) and Social Justice.” Forthcoming in Women’s Reproductive Health, 2018.

E. Moore Quinn and Cara Delay, “Bounty, Moderation, and Miracles: Women and Food in Narratives of the Great Irish Famine.” New Hibernia Review 21, 2(summer 2017): 111-29.

“Meddlers Amongst Us: Catholic Women in Famine-Era Ireland.” In Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland. Edited by Christine Kinealy, Ciarán Reilly, and Jason King, 71-82. Cork: Cork University Press, 2017.

“Girls, the Body, and Sexual Knowledge in Modern Ireland.” In Women, Reform, and Resistance in Ireland, 1850-1950. Edited by Christina Brophy and Cara Delay, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Women, Reform, and Resistance in Ireland, 1850-1950. Edited byChristina Brophy and Cara Delay. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

“Women, Childbirth Customs, and Authority in Ireland, 1850-1930.” Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 21 (July 2015): 6-18.

“‘Language Which Will Move Their Hearts’: Priests, People, and Speaking Power in Modern Catholic Ireland.” Journal of British Studies 53, 2 (2014): 426-52.

“Uncharitable Tongues: Women and Abusive Language in Early Twentieth-Century Ireland.” Feminist Studies 39: 3 (2013): 628-653.

“Ever So Holy: Girls, Mothers, and Catholicism in Irish Women’s Life-Writings, 1850-1950,” in The Country of the Young: Interpretations of Youth and Childhood in Irish Culture, eds. Kelly Matthews and John Countryman, 10-30. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013.

“‘Deposited Elsewhere’: The Sexualized Female Body and the Modern Irish Landscape.” Études Irlandaises 37-1 (2012): 71-86.


“The First Communion Dress: Fashion, Faith, and the Feminization of Catholic Ireland,” Nursing Clio, July 2017,

“The Girl and the Grotto: Remembering and Forgetting in Irish History.” Nursing Clio, May 2017,

“Back to the Back Alley? Abortion Rights and Realities in the Trump Era,” Nursing Clio, March 2017,

“At the Mercy of the Sea: Women, Reproduction, and Europe’s Migrant Crisis,” Nursing Clio, February 2017,

Cara Delay and Beth Sundstrom. “Obstetric Violence in Ireland’s Past and Present,” Perceptions of Pregnancy, January 2017,

“Sex, Death, and Three Irish Women,” Nursing Clio, September 2016,

“Venus Revisited,” Nursing Clio, August 2016,

“The Brexit and Women’s Rights in the UK,” Nursing Clio, July 2016,

“‘The Torture Began: Symphysiotomy and Obstetric Violence in Modern Ireland,” Nursing Clio, May 2016,

“For Poor or Rich: Handywomen and Traditional Birth in Ireland,” Nursing Clio, May 2016,

“Tea Kettles and Turpitudes: Abortion and Material Culture in Irish History.” Nursing Clio, March 2016,

“Flowers and Lady Charlotte: Talking about Menstruation, Past and Present.” Nursing Clio, February 2016,

“Always Ready: Handywomen and Childbirth in Irish History.” Perceptions of Pregnancy Blog, February 2016,