Nancy F. Cott teaches at Harvard University, where she is the Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History. Her writings range widely over questions concerning women, gender, marriage, feminism, and citizenship from the 18th-century to the contemporary United States. Her books include The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman's Sphere” in New England, 1780–1835 (Yale University Press, 1977), The Grounding of Modern Feminism (Yale University Press, 1987), and Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (Harvard University Press, 2000). Her interests also include the history of sexuality, social movements, political culture, and law.
Cott 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, communism, and fascism.
Cott has taught at Harvard since 2002, when she joined its faculty as a professor of history and the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute. Prior to that, she taught for more than 25 years at Yale University, where she was one of the founders of the Women’s Studies Program. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the president of the Organization of American Historians. Cott earned her PhD in history from Brandeis University.