Hi everyone. My name is Kate O’Connor (she/her/hers) and I’m PhD candidate (ABD) in American Culture at the University of Michigan. My research and teaching interests include disability theory, 19th and 20th century history, history of youth, history of medicine, and history of reproductive justice. I also work with data analysis and visualization focusing on large historical datasets.
My dissertation broadly follows the history of youth institutionalization and eugenics in Michigan from the mid-19th century through the present. I trace this history through the Coldwater Training School and the Wayne County Training School, youth facilities built for “trainable” delinquent, poor, and/or orphaned adolescents.
I am part of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab which has primarily focused on California’s eugenic sterilization program but is now expanding to include North Carolina, Iowa, and Michigan.
In my free time, I love spending time with my child, dog, partner, niblings, and my extended chosen family.