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Joanne Meyerowitz is the Arthur Unobskey Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University. Her research focuses on 20th-century US history, with emphases on gender and sexuality.
At Radcliffe, Meyerowitz is writing a book about US involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s and how they increasingly came to focus on women. She asks how and why government agencies, foundations, and NGOs gradually shifted from large-scale projects aimed at national economic growth to small-scale antipoverty projects aimed at individual productivity and from jobs for impoverished men to loans for impoverished women. The book examines liberal policies and the challenges posed by leaders of the global South, feminists, leftists, and the indigent themselves.
Meyerowitz earned her BA from the University of Chicago and her MA and PhD from Stanford University. She is the author of Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880–1930 (University of Chicago Press, 1988) and How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Harvard University Press, 2002) and the editor of Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945–1960 (Temple University Press, 1994) and History and September 11th (Temple University Press, 2003). She has won fellowships from, among others, the American Council of Learned Societies, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the Social Science Research Council. She is former editor of the Journal of American History and current codirector of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities.