Nancy F. Cott

Nancy F. Cott

A past president of the OAH, Nancy F. Cott is the Jonathan Trumbull Research Professor of American History at Harvard University. She taught U.S. history, centering on the history of women, sexuality, and gender, for twenty-six years at Yale and sixteen years at Harvard before retiring in 2018. Her absorption in the history of gender, marriage, feminism, law, political culture, and citizenship resulted in her books 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 (2001), among other works. Her current interests also include the history of sexuality, social movements, the international turn, and journalism, as is apparent in her new book, Fighting Words: How Bold Young American Journalists Brought the World Home between the Wars (2020). Fighting Words traces four Americans (two men and two women) who went abroad in their youth in the 1920s and became foreign correspondents, alerting fellow Americans to the spreading menace of global threats, especially European fascism. Confronting the era’s big conflicts— democracy versus authoritarianism, global responsibilities versus isolationism, sexual freedom versus traditional morality—they shaped how Americans saw their country’s international role between the world wars.

Click here for more information about Nancy F. Cott.

Lectures

  • How History Mattered in Same-Sex Marriage Rights
  • Public Emblem, Private Realm: Marital Supremacy in U.S. History
  • Sexual Modernism and Marriage Crisis in the 1920s
  • The 1920s Generation Re-Envisioned Internationally
  • The Golden Age of Foreign Correspondence
  • The Neglected Political History of Newspaper Journalism