Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Columbia University
Website URL
public health, sexual violence, higher education, colleges and universities, social movements, gender, sexuality, race, urban history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Desiree Abu-Odeh is a seventh-year PhD candidate, specializing in the history of public health, at Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Her research interests include histories of public health, gender, race, sexuality, social movements, and education in the United States. Before beginning doctoral work, Desiree earned an MA in Bioethics from the University of Minnesota and an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia. Her bioethics and public health work have been published in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Public Health Reports, and the American Journal of Public Health. Her dissertation examines the emergence of what is now known as “sexual violence” and responses to it on American college campuses from 1950 to 1990. She has received funding for her doctoral studies and dissertation research from her department’s Predoctoral Fellowship in Gender, Sexuality and Health, the Columbia Population Research Center, Harvard’s Schlesinger Library, Barnard Library, Smith College Libraries, and an NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. She is an Editor and Social Media Manager for the online blog NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality.

Recent Publications

Abu-Odeh, Desiree, Shamus Khan, and Constance A. Nathanson. “Social Constructions of Rape at Columbia University and Barnard College, 1955 to 1990.” Social Science History 44, no. 2 (2020): 355-79.

Chavkin, Wendy, Desiree Abu-Odeh, Catherine Clune-Taylor, Sara Dubow, Michael Ferber, and Ilan H. Meyer. “Balancing Freedom of Conscience and Equitable Access.” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 11 (2018): 1487-8.

Abu-Odeh, Desiree. “‘Party Games’ and ‘Pulling Train’: Understanding the Brett Kavanaugh Gang Rape Allegation.” NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality (online blog), September 28, 2018.

Steinberg, Allyna, Marybec Griffin-Tomas, Desiree Abu-Odeh, and Alzen Whitten. “Evaluation of a Mobile Phone App for Providing Adolescents With Sexual and Reproductive Health Information, New York City, 2013-2016.” Public Health Reports 133, no. 3 (2018): 234-9.

Abu-Odeh, Desiree. “Fat Stigma and Public Health: A Theoretical Framework and Ethical Analysis.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 24, no. 3 (2014): 247-65.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Higher Ed, Labor, Law, Medicine, Race, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Urban History, Women