Deanna Day is a historian of technology and medicine who worked as a research fellow in the Center for Applied History, where she conducted oral histories and archival research for a project investigating several California research laboratories. 

Her research focuses on the cultural influence of technology, science, and medicine, with a special emphasis on the experiences of women and children with consumer technologies. Her current book project, 98.6: Fevers, Fertility, and the Patient Labor of American Medicine, tells the story of the thermometer’s history in the 19th and 20th centuries, showing how it laid the intellectual and material foundations for the way we approach medical self-tracking in the 21st century. In her research projects she is interested in how individual technologies or systems—like medicine cabinets, historic prisons, abandoned asylums, and magic wands—can illuminate larger cultural issues like the politics of home health care, the use of art in historic preservation, and the role of the supernatural in public understandings of science and technology.

Deanna Day received her BA from the History Department at the University of Chicago and her MA and PhD from the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Before she was a historian, Deanna was a writer, an editor, a museum intern, an office assistant, a bookstore inventory staff member, a pet sitter, a library page, and an ice-cream server. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Selected Publications

Exercise Without Failure: Building Fitness Apps As Narrative GamesModel View Culture, April 29, 2015. 

How to Tell If You’re Dead: The 19th-century doctor who wanted to create a “death thermometer," Slate, April 22, 2014.

Toward a Zombie Epistemology: What It Means to Live and Die in Cabin in the Woods, Ada: A Journal of Gender, Media and Technology, no. 3, November 2013.