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Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology 
University of Warsaw

Żurawia 4, 00-503 Warsaw
tel. +48 22 55 316 11/ fax. 22 55 316 12

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Dr Agata Ignaciuk

adiunkt naukowy

Dr. Ignaciuk holds an MA degree in international studies (University of Łódź) and an Erasmus Mundus Joint European MA in Women's and Gender Studies (University of Granada/University of Bologna). She completed her PhD in women's studies and history of medicine in 2015 at the University of Granada. Since 2010, she her research revolves around transnational history of reproduction and contraception, and history of women and gender in Spain and Poland.

Area of interest

social and cultural history of medicine, history of reproduction and reproductive rights, history of pharmaceutical marketing, history of women and gender, comparative history, transnational history

Selected publications


  1. Ignaciuk, Agata, Villén Jiménez, Alba. ¿Una pequeña revolución sexual? Experiencias de sexualidad y anticoncepción de mujeres andaluzas (1950s-1970s) (forthcoming 2018).
  2. Ortiz-Gómez, Teresa; Ignaciuk, Agata. The family planning movement in Spain during the democratic transition. Journal of Women’s History (forthcoming 2018).
  3. Ignaciuk, Agata. Paradox of the pill: oral contraceptives in Spain and Poland (1960s–1970s). In: Making children? 20th century value changes in human reproduction and family planning, Berlin: De Gruyter (forthcoming 2018)
  4. Ignaciuk, Agata. Love in the time of el Generalísimo: debates about the pill in Spain before and after Humanae Vitae. In: Harris, Alana, editor. The schism of '68: Catholics, contraception and Humanae Vitae in Europe, 1945-1975. London: Palgrave McMillan, 2018, pp. 229-250. 
  5. Ignaciuk, Agata. 2018. Paradox of the pill: oral contraceptives in Spain and Poland (1960s–1970s). In: Gembries, Ann-Katrin; Theuke, Theresia; Heinemann, Isabel, editors. Children by choice? Changing values, reproduction, and family planning in the 20th century, Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 123-143.
  6. Ignaciuk, Agata, Ortiz-Gómez, Teresa. 2016. Anticoncepción, mujeres y género. La “píldora” en España y Polonia. Madrid: Catarata.
  7. Ignaciuk, Agata. Reproductive policies and women’s birth control practices in state-socialist Poland (1960s-1980s). In: Niethammer, Lutz; Satjuko, Silke, editors. “Wenn die Chemie stimmt”. Gender relations and birth control in the age of the “pill”. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016, pp. 271-294.
  8. Ortiz-Gómez, Teresa; Ignaciuk, Agata. 2015. “Pregnancy and labour cause more deaths than oral contraceptives”: The debate on the pill in the Spanish press in the 1960s and 1970s. Public Understanding of Science 24 (6): 658-671.
  9. Ignaciuk, Agata. 2014. “Clueless about contraception”: the introduction and circulation of the contraceptive pill in state-socialist Poland (1960s-1970s). Medicina nei Secoli. Arte e Scienza 26 (2): 509-535.
  10. Ignaciuk, Agata. 2014. Publicidad farmacéutica y género: anuncios de la píldora en España (1964-1985). Medicina e Historia 1: 4-21.
  11. Ignaciuk, Agata; Ortiz-Gómez; Teresa; Rodríguez Ocaña, Esteban. 2014. Doctors, women and the circulation of knowledge of oral contraceptives in Spain, 1960s-1970s. In: Ortiz-Gómez, Teresa; Santesmases, María-Jesús, editors. Gendered drug standards. Historical and socio-cultural perspectives. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 133-152.
  12. Rodríguez Ocaña, Esteban; Ignaciuk, Agata; Ortiz-Gómez, Teresa. 2012. Ovulostáticos y anticonceptivos. El conocimiento médico sobre “la píldora” en España durante el franquismo y la transición democrática (1940-1979). Dynamis 32 (2): 467-494.
  13. Ignaciuk, Agata. Anticoncepción, aborto y género: aportaciones desde los estudios de género en la historia y en las ciencias sociales. Eä – Revista de Humanidades Médicas & Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología 1 (2): 1-25.

Research projects

  • Oct 2017 - Sep 2019: “Birth control cultures in Poland (1945-1989)”, National Science Center, Poland/MCSA COFUND (European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme - Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665778), principal investigator: Agata Ignaciuk
  • May 2017 - Sep 2017: “London calling: embodied mobility, abortion tourism and the global city”, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, principal investigator: Christabelle Sethna
  • Feb 2013 – Dec 2016: “Contraception, sexuality and health: life stories and sanitary practices during the Spanish Francoism and the democratic transition”, Spanish Ministry of Economy, Science Division, principal investigator: Teresa Ortiz Gómez
  • Dec 2008 - Feb 2013: “DRUGS. Standard drugs and drug standards. A comparative historical study of pharmaceuticals in the 20th century”, ESF Research Networking Programme (06-RNP-045), principal investigator: Volker Hess
  • Dec 2010 - Feb 2012: “The constitution of the family planning in Spain during the last years of Francoism and in the democratic transition” (HAR2008-05809), Spanish Ministry of Science, principal investigator: Teresa Ortiz Gómez

Conferences and visiting lectures


  1. European Social Science History Conference, Belfast, United Kingdom, April 2018.

Paper: “Mothers – coffins”? Abortion debates and women’s experiences in state-socialist Poland (1950s-1980s). Co-organizer (with Laura Kelly) of two sessions on birth control activism and practices in Catholic countries. Discussant in two other sessions.

  1. Contraception and Gender Junior Lab conference, Paris, France, December 2017.

Paper: “A guide for young bride”?: gender and popularization of contraception in Poland (1959-1962)

  1. The body politic. States in the history of medicine and health: biannual conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, Bucharest, August - September 2017.

Paper: Underground public health offices? Abortion travel networks in Spain before 1985

  1. Workshop Making children? 20th century value changes in human reproduction and family planning, Mainz, Germany, April 2016.

Paper: The paradox of the pill: oral contraceptives and birth control in Franco’s Spain and in state-socialist Poland (1960s-1970s) (invited speaker)

  1. European Social Science History Conference, Valencia, Spain, March-April 2016.

Paper: Advertising therapy, selling birth control. Scientific marketing of oral contraceptives in Spain (1960-1980)

  1. Cash and care. Economics and values in the history of medicine and health: biannual conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, University of Cologne, Germany, September 2015.

Paper: The cost of reproductive choice in Spain (1970-1985)

  1. 9th European Feminist Research Conference, University of Lapland, Finland, June 2015.
  3. Workshop Globalization of medicine and public health: economic and social perspectives (1850-2000), University of Lausanne, Switzerland, March 2015.

Paper: Just what the doctor ordered: Marketing the contraceptive pill in Europe and the US (1960s-1970s) (invited speaker)

  1. Workshop Rethinking patent cultures: Medicine and healthcare, Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, July 2015.

Paper: Marketing contraception and control: medical advertising for the pill in the US and Western Europe during the 1960s and 1970s

  1. Disease, health and the state: biannual conference of the Society for the Social History of Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, July 2014.

Paper: Rhythm, coitus interruptus and abortion: family planning policies and practices in state-socialist Poland (1960s-1970)

  1. 16th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women: Histories on the edge, University of Toronto, Canada, May 2014.

Paper: “Conscious or unconscious motherhood”: discourses about family planning and contraception in state-socialist Poland

  1. Workshop "When the chemistry works…”: gender relations and birth control in the age of the pill, November 2013.

Paper: Using the pill in a non-democratic regime: women and oral contraceptives in Spain and Poland, 1960s & 1970s (invited speaker)

  1. Risk and disaster in medicine and health: biannual conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, University of Évora, Portugal, September 2013.

Paper: Side effects of the contraceptive pill. Social and scientific debates in Poland and Spain (with Teresa Ortiz-Gómez)

  1. 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, July 2013.

Paper: The introduction of oral contraceptives into a non-democratic regime: cases of Poland and Spain (1960s-1970s)

  1. Workshop Drugs and cold war (ESF DRUGS Network), University of Rome – La Sapienza, Italy, November 2012.

Paper: The circulation of oral contraceptives in the Polish 1960s and 1970s

  1. Uncertainty and disquiet: 12th European Association of Social Anthropologists biennial conference, University of Nanterre, France, July 2012.

Paper: The contraceptive pill in Poland in the 1960s and 1970s: questions about circulation, consumption and influence on female sexuality

  1. Workshop Gendered drug standards from historical and socio-anthropological perspectives (ESF DRUGS network), University of Granada, Spain, November 2011.

Paper: Doctors, women and circulation of knowledge on oral contraceptives in Spain: 1940s-1970s (with Esteban Rodríguez- Ocaña and Teresa Ortiz-Gómez)

  1. Health activism symposium, Yale University, United States, November 2011.

Paper: The family planning movement in Spain during the democratic transition (with Teresa Ortiz-Gómez)

Awards and Scholarships

  • POLONEZ 2 – Marie Curie Skłodowska Actions COFUND postdoctoral fellowship, University of Warsaw, Poland (starting October 2017)
  • Max Weber Fellowship, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Italy  (declined)
  • Best PhD dissertation in history of medicine annual price - Sociedad Española de Historia de la Medicina (2016)
  • Posdoctoral fellowship, University of Granada (July 2015-June 2016)
  • Fundación Uriach History of Medicine annual prize (2013)
  • Research visit support grant, University of Granada (December 2013-March 2014)
  • Research fellowship, ESF Research Networking Programme DRUGS. Standard drugs and drug standards. A comparative historical study of pharmaceuticals in the 20th century (2010-2012)
  • FPU (Formación de Profesorado Universitario) predoctoral grant, Spanish Ministry of Education (University of Granada, Spain, January 2010-January 2015)
  • European Commission-Action 3 GEMMA Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree exchange grant (2009)
  • Talentia grant of the Council of Science, Innovation and Business, regional government of Andalucía (2008-2009)

Member of scientific organizations

  • Spanish Society for the History of Medicine
  • Spanish Society for Demographic History
  • British Society for the History of Science
  • Society for the Social History of Medicine
  • At Gender: The European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation