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Nicole Schroeder

Nau 396
Office Hours: 2-4 PM Mondays

Field & Specialties

History of Disability
Medical History
Early American Political Economy


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Ph.D History of Disability, Expected December 2020; MA History, December 2017

Examination Fields: Early American History 1584-1815, United States History 1815-1877, History of Medicine and Disability,

Advisors: Max Edelson, Elizabeth Varon, Barbra Wall


Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

BA History with Highest Honors, Classical Studies, magna cum laude, May 2015


Pedagogical Material

Jan 2018                                  “Fostering an Inclusive Classroom: A Guide to Student Disabilities and Accommodations at the University of Virginia,” University of Virginia  

Current Research

My dissertation, Incurable Defects: Welfare, Medicine, and the Disabled Body in Philadelphia, 1790-1840, reviews the contested nature of physical disability in early America. I argue that negotiations surrounding health care, tax reform, and the nature of physical impairment created a foundational basis for a disabled identity. Disabled people petitioned the government for financial support, demanding that they take the role of proxy patriarch when kin structures failed. Collusion between government officials and doctors fed into a system of medicine that prioritized high turnover rates, a phenomenon reflected in today’s system. My dissertation combines a quantitative study of over five thousand pension and medical records with qualitative evidence from doctors and citizens to provide a nuanced history of institutionalization. I explore the characters involved in health care reform across the early nineteenth century, reviewing the actions of medical professionals, government bodies, and disabled individuals. Disabled people sought to legitimize their physical capabilities, pursued therapeutic treatment, resisted institutionalization, and maintained lives as fully participatory citizens, family members, and workers. Their involvement in welfare reforms throughout the nineteenth century shaped the history of medicine and welfare in America.

Awards & Honors

2016                                        Summer Research and Travel Funding, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

2016                                        Clio Fund for Graduate Research, University of Virginia

2017                                        Summer Language Funding, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant with Sections

Spring 2017                             HIST 2212 Maps in World History, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, Lectures by Max Edelson, 60 students

Fall 2017                                  HIUS 2212 Palestine 1948, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, Lectures by James Loeffler, 60 students

Spring 2018                             WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program, Lectures by Corinne Field, 60 students