“The Age of Beauvoir: A Culture History of Feminist Thought and the Gender Revolution, 1750-2000” will examine the intellectual and cultural roots of a feminist consciousness in America. Beginning with the earliest feminist response to the Enlightenment, the research aims to follow the ideational currents to the end of the twentieth century, when feminist thinking was at its zenith. It considers not only the intellectual contribution of key leaders but the popularization of feminist sensibilities and anti-feminist reaction. The mixed reception to Simone de Beauvoir’s groundbreaking book The Second Sex (1953) offers a frame for research into the development of feminism and its wide cultural dissemination. The implications of this research is a greater understanding of the influence of feminism as a set of culture-shaping ideas and illumination of the moral tensions experienced in defining the gendered self.
Research partially funded by the New England Regional Consortium.
Gender in American Thought (GAT): The GAT Project in collaboration with other scholars seeks to incorporate a more detailed gender analysis in the history of American thought. Editorial board for Modern Intellectual History Forum on Gender in American Thought.
Essay, ” ‘ Pray to God; she will hear us’: Women Reimagine Religion and Politics in the 1970s” in The Religious Left in Modern America: Doorkeepers of a Radical Faith (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) edited by Douglas Rossinow, Leilah Danielson, and Marian Mollin.
Recent Reflections and Interviews
“Roundtable on the World Come of Age,” Society for U.S. Intellectual History, January 1, 2019.
“The Radical Rise of Liberation Theology: An Interview with Lilian Calles Barger” Religion and Politics, September 25, 2018
“Remembering James Cone: Kind and Fierce Iconoclast” Black Perspectives, September 6, 2018
“Seven Questions for Lilian Calles Barger” Religion in American History, September 3, 2018