Rachel Louise Moran | Department of History

Rachel Louise Moran

Associate Professor
WH 248
Modern U.S. History


I am a historian of health, medicine, and modern politics in a U.S. context. I am especially interested in ways in which political culture and institutions have shaped Americans' relationships with health and wellness, in arenas including nutrition and fitness, psychiatry, and women's health. My first book, Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique, argued that managing and molding American bodies has long been an interest of federal agencies - an interest that has required unique political maneuvering. My current work is on the history of the concept of postpartum depression in the modern U.S., with an emphasis on the intersections between the political "culture wars" and women's changing relationships to psychiatry, obstetrics, and motherhood. This project has been supported by an NSF Scholars award. At UNT I have taught courses in modern politics, the history of medicine, the history of the body, and women's history. I am also affiliated with UNT's Women and Gender Studies Program.

UNT Faculty Profile

Selected Publications:


Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique. University of Pennsylvania Press, Politics & Culture in Modern America series, 2018.


Book Chapters and Articles:

"Fears of a Nanny State: Centering Gender and Family in the Political History of Regulation," in Shaped by the State: Toward a New Political History of the 20th Century, Ed. Brent Cebul, Lily Geismer, and Mason Williams, University of Chicago Press, 2019.


"Weighing in about Weight: Advisory Power in the Bureau of Home Economics," in Remaking Home Economics: Resourcefulness and Innovation in Changing Times, Ed. Sharon Y. Nikols and Gwen Kay, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2015.


"Consuming Relief: Food Stamps and the New Welfare of the New Deal," Journal of American History 76, (March 2011): 1001-1022.


Select Awards:

- National Science Foundation Scholars Award; Science, Technology and Society Program, Award 1849533, 2019-2020

- Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2017

- Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 2011-2012