Lydia Mathews

PhD Student

North America

Lydia Mathews is a historian of 19th and 20th century North America, focusing on the intersections of gender, public health, and immigration at the turn of the 20th century. She is particularly interested in the work of settlement houses and milk committees in urban spaces, and how immigrant women engaged with reform projects and could lay claim to social citizenship through their mothering and hygienic practices. Lydia's previous research has centered on Italian immigrants in Boston's South End and the role of reproductive politics in constructions of whiteness.

Research Interests

  • Immigration history
  • History of medicine
  • Public health
  • History of gender

Awards & Fellowships

2024 Edward E. Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowship - UC Berkeley Canadian Studies Program

2023 Library Research Excellence Prize for Graduate Student Research - Brandeis University Library

2021 Sophia Chen Zen Memorial Prize - Vassar College History Department

2021 Marjorie Lynn Gluck Thesis Prize - Vassar College Political Science Department

2020 Evelyn Clark Memorial Travel Fellowship - Vassar College History Department


M.A., History, Brandeis University, 2023

M.A., Women's and Gender Studies, Brandeis University, 2022

B.A., History and English, Vassar College, 2021