Joanne Meyerowitz

Joanne Meyerowitz's picture
Arthur Unobskey Professor of American Studies and History
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Joanne Meyerowitz received her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.  She is the author of Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880-1930 and How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States, and the editor of Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960 and History and September 11th

Her most recent book, A War on Global Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit (2021), is a history of U.S. involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s.   It shows how and why anti-poverty efforts increasingly focused on women as the deserving poor.

Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2004, she taught at the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University, and for five years edited the Journal of American History, the leading scholarly journal in U.S. history.  She has won fellowships from, among others, the American Council of Learned Societies, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, National Humanities Center, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Social Science Research Council.  Her books have won prizes from the American Library Association, Foreword Magazine, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and her public writing has appeared in, among others, Politico, Public Seminar, and the Washington Post. At the University of Cincinnati, she won the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, and at Yale, she won the Graduate Mentor Award in the Humanities. She is an elected member of the Society of American Historians and past president of the Organization of American Historians.

At Yale, she has served as chair of LGBT Studies, chair of American Studies, and acting chair of the Department of History.  She is currently co-director of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities.  She teaches courses on recent U.S. history, gender, sexuality, and poverty.

A few recent publications:

  “September 11th Revisited: The Troubled History of Victim Compensation,” Modern American History (July 2023)              

“180 Op-Eds: Or How to Make the Present Historical,” Journal of American History 107:2 (September 2020)

“The Liberal 1950s? Reinterpreting Postwar U.S. Sexual Culture,” in Karen Hagemann and Sonya Michel, eds., Gender and the Long Postwar: Reconsiderations of the United States and the Two Germanys, 1945-1989 (Johns Hopkins University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2014), 297-319

“‘How Common Culture Shapes the Separate Lives’:  Sexuality, Race, and Mid-Twentieth-Century Social Constructionist Thought,” Journal of American History 96:4 (March 2010), 1057-1084

“Transnational Sex and U.S. History,” American Historical Review 114:5 (December 2009), 1273-1286

“A History of ‘Gender,’” American Historical Review 113:5 (December, 2008), 1346-1356