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Cara Delay

Associate Professor

Address: Maybank 327
Office Hours: W 10-11:30 and by appointment

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 published in Journal of British StudiesLilith: A Feminist History Journal, Eire-Ireland, New Hibernia Review, US Catholic Historian, and Feminist Studies.
In 2012-13 she was awarded a year-long research Fulbright fellowship. At The University College Dublin Humanities Institute, Ireland, she conducted research on Desolate Journeys: Reproduction and Motherhood in Ireland, 1950-2000. This project investigates women’s experiences of reproduction, contraception, abortion, and motherhood in twentieth-century Ireland.
In 2016, as part of the Women's Health Research Team, Dr. Delay will begin research on "Reproductive Health Histories," an oral history project focusing on women's reproductive experiences in South Carolina.
An Associate Professor in the History Department, she also directs the Women's and Gender Studies Program at the College of Charleston:


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.


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

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

 “‘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. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013.

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

"‘The Gates Were Shut': Catholics, Chapels, and Power in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland," New Hibernia Review 14, 1 (Earrach/Spring 2010): 14-35.

At The UCD Humanities Institute for 2012-2013, Professor Delay lectured on ‘’Noxious Things’: Illegal Abortion Cases in Twentieth-Century Ireland’ - as part of the University College Dublin Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland’s 2012-2013 Seminar Series. Listen to ’Noxious Things’: Illegal Abortion Cases in Twentieth-Century Ireland’


“Abortion in Ireland: The More Things Change…” Nursing Clio, December 2015,

“‘Poisons or other Noxious Things’: Women’s Illegal Abortion Strategies in Twentieth-Century Ireland,” blog entry, History of Medicine in Ireland, May 2014,

Discussion of Fulbright award in Ireland, You Tube video, 2013

“Illegal Abortion in Ireland,” blog entry,, May 2013

“Illegal Abortion Cases in Twentieth-Century Ireland,” podcast, History Hub, 2013