Associate Professor of History
I am an Associate Professor at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College. My intellectual interests and professional activities are wide ranging and cross a number of academic disciplines. My research and teaching areas are women’s and gender history, American cultural and social history, and the history of cities. My first book, When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store, is a study of late nineteenthen century consumer culture, respectable thieves (aka 'Kleptomaniacs'), and the medical establishment. The book has been cited as a provocative, compelling, original, and strongly feminist work.
My current book project, The Woman with Worn-Out Shoes: Gender: Homelessness, and the Great Depression, still focuses on women and cities but is a study of newly- poor homeless women and their encounter with gender stereotypes, social norms, and public policy during the catastrophic economic crisis of the 1930s. Unlike the homeless crisis of the 1970s and '80s, these women were rarely seen on city streets nor were they standing in the ubiquitous breadlines of the period. Without families, steady jobs or "a bed of their own" they were among the most desperate of the urban population, but, in a decade of unimaginable scarcity, were so far down in the ranks of those deemed truly needy they remained virtually invisible.
PhD 1986, New York University
American Historical Association
Organization of American Historians
American Studies Association
Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
Featured twice on the NPR Podcast Back Story, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Gender, cities, social movements, public pollicy, social and cultural history
Gender, Politics and History
America in Crisis
Shaping of the Modern City
New York City: Social Hist
Ind Senior Project