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Nancy F. Cott Begins Term as OAH President

Nancy Cott is the OAH’s 110th president. Her term will end in April 2017.

BLOOMINGTON, IN—Nancy F. Cott, the Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University, began her term as the president of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for 2016-2017 on April 9.
Outgoing OAH President Jon Butler passed the ceremonial gavel to Cott after concluding the group's annual business meeting earlier this month in Providence, Rhode Island.


Cott's writings range widely over questions concerning women, gender, marriage, feminism, and citizenship from the eighteenth century to the contemporary United States. Her books include The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1835 (1977), The Grounding of Modern Feminism (1987), and Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000). She is currently working on a study of youthful Americans working abroad between the two world wars, during decades of global struggle for predominance between democracy, commnism and fascism.


Cott has taught at Harvard since 2002, when she joined its faculty as the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library in the Radcliffe Institute, and professor of history. Prior to that, she taught at Yale University for more than 25 years, departing as Sterling Professor of History and American Studies. She was one of the founders of Yale's women's studies program, which she chaired for many years, and also served as chair of the American Studies Program. Between 1999 and 2001 she was the Director of the Humanities Division.


A member of OAH's Distinguished Lectureship Program, Cott frequently lectures on the history of marriage in the United States and also on the generation that came of age in the 1920s. She is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. 1967) and Brandeis University (Ph.D. 1974). She is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,800 members from the U.S. and abroad, the OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly "Journal of American History," the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes "The American Historian" magazine. Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (MVHA), the association became the OAH in 1965 to reflect a broader scope focusing on national studies of American history. Its national headquarters are located in the historic Raintree House on Indiana University's Bloomington campus. For information, visit oah.org, e-mail oah@oah.org, or call 812.855.7311.