Lara Freidenfelds

Historian of health, reproduction, and parenting in America
Lara is an original thinker, meticulous researcher, and thoughtful storyteller. After talking with Lara, you'll have a richer understanding of the historical events and trends that led to the narratives we tell about pregnancy and miscarriage today.


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Lara Freidenfelds, PhD, is a historian of health, reproduction, and parenting in America. She holds a doctorate in history of science and a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard University. Her first book, The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America, was awarded the Emily Toth Prize for Best Book in Women’s Studies from the Popular Culture/American Culture Association. Her second book, The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America, was published by Oxford University Press in January of 2020.

Lara has taught courses in the history of reproduction, sexuality, and gender at Wellesley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and as a graduate student instructor at Harvard University. She serves on the advisory board of ZanaAfrica, a non-profit which helps adolescent Kenyan girls stay in school by developing and distributing environmentally friendly, locally-made sanitary pads, conducting empowerment groups for girls and boys, and training women in business and sales opportunities.


So enjoyed this talk. it was fascinating, interesting, informative. The hour flew by. Thank you Speakeasy for making known this historian!

Speakeasy participant

Very interesting topic, and the gathering felt intimate enough that I comfortable asking questions.

Speakeasy participant

"She was engaging and her visuals really added to the experience."

Speakeasy participant