Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Website URL
reproduction, women's history, gender history, public health, medicine, social history, global history, Caribbean history, decolonisation
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr. Nicole Bourbonnais is an Associate Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute.  Her research explores the intersections between the “private” sphere (gender relations, sex, reproduction, and the family), national/international politics, and transnational activism. Her first bookBirth Control in the Decolonizing Caribbean: Reproductive Politics and Practice on Four Islands, 1930-1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) traces how birth control campaigns in Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Bermuda were shaped concurrently by colonialism, nationalism, social activism, and working class women’s efforts to control their reproductive lives.  Her next major project, The Gospel of Birth Control: Prophets, Patients, and the Global Family Planning Movement uses intermediary actors – the fieldworkers, doctors, and nurses sent out by international organizations and the local colleagues they worked with – as a vector to connect global and local histories of family planning.  She is also interested in the links between anti-racist and feminist activism in the early twentieth century and the history of maternal and child health.

Dr. Bourbonnais received her BA from the University of British Colombia (Vancouver) and MA/PhD in History from the University of Pittsburgh.  She teaches courses and supervises theses on the subjects of reproductive politics, social history, the history of gender/sexuality, transnational activism, Latin American and Caribbean history, and the history of public health and medicine.


Recent Publications


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Family, Gender, Human Rights, Medicine, Sexuality, Women