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Mary Mitchell

Photo of Mary Mitchell

Assistant Professor


Mary X. Mitchell is an assistant professor in the history department.

She earned a Ph.D. in history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Prior to beginning her doctorate, Mitchell worked in university technology licensing, earned a J.D., practiced law, and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She was an Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainability at Cornell University from 2016-18.

Mitchell is broadly interested in the intersections between law, technology, and science. Her research explores the transnational legal histories of nuclear weapons and energy. She is completing a book manuscript tentatively titled, Test Cases: American Law, Nuclear Weapons, and Extraterritorial Power in the Postwar Oceania. Test Cases uses legal conflict over nuclear weapons testing to trace the contours of America’s Pacific expansion following World War II. Mitchell is concurrently beginning research for a new project about the history of liability, insurance, and compensation frameworks for nuclear reactor incidents.

She has published articles in Environmental History, the Journal of the History of Biology, and Change over Time. Her research has been supported by funders including the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation.