Catherine Kudlick

Emeritus Professor
Phone: (415) 405-3528
Location: Humanities Building Room 136

Affiliated Professor, Université Paris VII (Diderot), Laboratoire ICT

I’ve been fully formed and nurtured in California public schools and universities, all in northern California. Fortunately, my scholarly career made it possible for me to give back, first for more than two decades as a history professor at University of California, Davis, and since 2012 as a member of the SF State faculty.  


  • Ph.D. History, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
  • M.A. History, University of California, Berkeley, 1983
  • B.A. History, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1980

Courses Recently Taught


  • Epidemics and Society in Europe, 1500-1900
  • Disability and Culture in Modern America
  • Introduction to Oral and Public History


  • History of Bodies, Bodies of History

Research Interests

I’m fascinated by the places where bodies, disability, medicine and gender come together. My current research focuses on smallpox in 18th and 19th century France to understand how disability became part of ordinary rather than extraordinary experiences.  

Selected Publications




  • “The Social History of Medicine and Disability History” Oxford Handbook of Disability History ed (with Michael Rembis and Kim Nielsen), Oxford University Press (2018)

  • Editor, Paul K. Longmore, Telethons: Spectacle, Disability, and the Business of Charity, Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Reflections: the Life and Writing of a Young Blind Woman in Postrevolutionary France (2001)
  • Cholera in Postrevolutionary Paris: A Cultural History
  • “Access as Activism: Bringing the Museum to the People” (co-authored with Edward M. Luby) for Robert Janes and Richard Sandel eds., Museums and Activism Routledge, forthcoming 2019. 


  • “Disability History: Why We Need Another Other” American Historical Review
  • “Disability History and History of Medicine: Rival Siblings or Conjoined Twins?” forum, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
  • “The Blind Man’s Harley: White Canes and Gender in America” Signs (listed as one of the top 100 essays in Best American Essays 2005, Lauren Slater ed., 2006
  • “Smallpox, Disability and Survival: Rewriting Paradigms from a New Epidemic Script” in Susan Burch and Michael Rembis, eds., New Directions in Disability History

Selected Awards

  • Neda Nobari “Spotlight on Change-Makers” Acknowledgement 2017
  • ABC-7 Television “Profile in Excellence” Award 2014.
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) 
  • Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Short-Term Visiting Professor, September 2008
  • College Board, Top Five Best Practices Course in European History
  • College of Liberal and Creative Arts, San Francisco State University, Faculty Excellence in Professional Growth (Research and Scholarship) Award, 2018 

Professional Service

  • Past-President, Disability History Association
  • Past Board Member, Society for Disability Studies
  • Past Board Member, Western Society for French History

Public Contributions

  • Exhibit: “Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights" (Ed Roberts Campus, Berkeley CA July 2015-January 2016; San Francisco Main PublicLibrary, June-September 2017

  • In My Mother’s Eyes, and Mine,” Reprinted in Peter Catapano and Rosemarie Garland-Thompson eds, All of Us, 2019.

Other Links