Leanna Darlene Duncan

 Leanna Duncan

Contact Information

History, 309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801
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Research Interests

  • Disability, Medicine, and Public Health
  • Twentieth Century US
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Research Description

My research focuses on children with disabilities in the early- to mid-twentieth century. I am interested in the ways in which the "crippled child" of the early twentieth century experienced physical disability differently than both the concurrent disabled adult and the polio survivors of the 1940s and 1950s. I suggest that rather than being merely victims of medicalized attempts at cure, children themselves contributed to the promotion of cure through engaging in and promoting practices of self-monitoring.


  • PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (In Progress)
  • MA, University of Tulsa, 2014
  • BA, University of Tulsa, 2013

Distinctions / Awards

  • John G. and Evelyn Hartman Heiligenstein Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2017
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent based on ICES Scores, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017


  • Travel Research in Equity Collections Award, National Museum of American History, 2017
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship, Department of History, 2017
  • History Department Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Travel Grant, University of Illinois, 2016

Selected Publications


Magazine Articles

Duncan, Leanna, and Peter Thompson Reacting to the Past: A Conversation History @ Illinois 2017.

Website Articles

Duncan, Leanna Heart and Soul!: The Ellis B. Haizlip Papers Smithsonian Collections Blog 2013.