Ellen Herman

Ellen Herman profile picture
  • Title: Professor of History
  • Additional Title: Faculty Co-Director, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics
  • Phone: 541-346-3699
  • Office: 280 Knight Law Center
  • Departments: History, Law
  • Affiliated Departments: History
  • Website: Website


I am a historian of the modern United States with special interests in the human sciences, social engineering, and therapeutic culture. My books are Kinship by Design: A History of Adoption in the Modern United States (University of Chicago Press, 2008), The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts (University of California Press, 1995), and Psychiatry, Psychology, and Homosexuality (New York: Chelsea House, 1995). My work has been supported by fellowships at Harvard Law School and Radcliffe's Bunting Institute, as well as a major research grant from the Science and Technology Studies Program of the National Science Foundation. I have explored the possibilities of digital public history with The Adoption History Project and The Autism History Project. My new research project, "Autism, Between Risks and Rights" was recognized with a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.