Cara Delay


Address: Maybank 327
Phone: 843.953.1420

Cara Delay is a historian with degrees from Boston College and Brandeis University. Her research analyzes women, gender, and culture in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ireland, Britain, and the Atlantic World, with a particular focus on the history of reproduction, pregnancy, and childbirth. Her award-winning body of scholarship includes articles published in Journal of Social HistoryWomen’s History ReviewFeminist StudiesJournal of Family HistoryJournal of Women’s History, and Journal of British Studies. She also has written book chapters, an edited volume, and a monograph, Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism, 1850-1950 (Manchester University Press). Co-authored with Beth Sundstrom, her new book, Birth Control: What Everyone Needs to Know, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. At the College of Charleston, she teaches courses on women’s history and the history of birth and bodies. She is Visiting Professor at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, for the spring 2020 semester.


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.


Recent Publications:

Cara Delay, Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism, 1850-1950. Manchester University Press (2019).  

Cara Delay, “Wrong for Womankind and The Nation: Anti-Abortion Discourses in Ireland, 1967-1992.” Journal of Modern European History 17, 3 (2019): 312-325.

Cara Delay and Beth Sundstrom, “The Legacy of Symphysiotomy in Ireland: A Reproductive Justice Approach to Obstetric Violence.” Advances in Medical Sociology: Reproduction, Health, and Medicine 20 (2020): 197-218.

Cara Delay and Annika Liger, “Bad Mothers and Dirty Lousers: Representing Abortionists in Post-Independence Ireland.” Journal of Social History, August 2019.

Cara Delay, “From the Backstreet to Britain: Women and Abortion Travel in Modern Ireland.” Travellin’ Mama: Mothers, Mothering, and Travel, eds. Charlotte Beyer, Janet MacLennan, Dorsía Smith Silva, and Marjorie Tesser, Demeter Press, 2019.

Cara Delay, “Pills, Potions, and Purgatives: Women and Abortion Methods in Ireland, 1900-1950.”  Women’s History Review 28, 3 (2019): 479-99.

Cara Delay, “Kitchens and Kettles: Domestic Spaces, Ordinary Things, and Female Networks in Irish Abortion History, 1922-1949,” Journal of Women’s History (30, 4, winter 2018): 11-34.

Cara Delay, “Holy Water and a Twig: Catholic Households and Women’s Religious Authority in Modern Ireland.” Journal of Family History 43, 3 (2018): 302-19. 

Beth Sundstrom, Ellie Smith, Cara Delay, John Luque, Caroline Davila, Bailey Feder, Vincenza Paddock, Jessie Poudrier, Jennifer Young Pierce, and Heather M. Brandt, “A Reproductive Justice Approach to Understanding Women's Experiences with HPV and Cervical Cancer Prevention,” Social Science and Medicine 232 (July 2019): 289-97. 

Stephanie Meier, Beth Sundstrom, Andrea L. DeMaria, and Cara Delay, “Beyond a Legacy of Coercion: Long-acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) and Social Justice.” Women’s Reproductive Health 6, 1 (spring 2019): 17-33.

Andrea L. DeMaria, Cara Delay, Beth Sundstrom, Audrey L. Wakefield, Angel Avina and Stephanie Meier. “Understanding Women’s Postpartum Sexual Experiences.” Culture, Health, and Sexuality January 2019,