Robyn Muncy, Dissertation Fellow

Dissertation Fellowship, 1986

Robyn Muncy Alumnae Dissertation Fellow, 1986

Robyn Muncy is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches and researches twentieth-century U.S. history. Professor Muncy's scholarship has focused especially on women’s history, social policy and progressive reform movements. Her first book, Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935 analyzed the role of middle-class women in creating the U.S. welfare state. Her second book, Engendering America, co-authored with Sonya Michel, was a documentary history of gender in the U.S. since 1865. Her most recent book, Relentless Reformer: Josephine Roche and Progressivism in Twentieth-Century America, is a political biography of activist Josephine Roche, and it analyzes America’s progressive reform tradition from the Progressive Era through the Great Society.

Professor Muncy has received several fellowships and awards. In 2007-08, for instance, she was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and she returned to the Center as a public policy scholar in the summer of 2009. In 2004 and 2005, she was featured in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Professor Muncy has made several appearances on broadcast media. She was a talking head for an episode of The Sixties, a 10-hour documentary broadcast on CNN in 2014. She appeared in Fire at the Triangle, a PBS documentary on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which premiered on The American Experience in 2011. She was interviewed in The First Measured Century, another PBS documentary that first aired in 2000. In 2013, C-SPAN broadcast one of her classroom lectures, “American Women Did Not Go Home After World War II: Women’s Labor Force Participation, 1945-2000,” and in January 2015, one of her book talks on Relentless Reformer. Both C-SPAN lectures are available on the web.

Impact of the Alumnae Dissertation Fellowship I am delighted to let you know that the Northwestern Alumnae Dissertation Fellowship that I received in 1986-87 enabled me to complete my dissertation, earn my Ph.D., and land my first academic position.

The dissertation you helped me complete provided the foundation of my first book, published in 1991 by Oxford University Press and titled Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935. On the basis of the manuscript for that book, I got a new job in 1990, this one at the University of Maryland, College Park where I was tenured in 1993. I have, ever since, been teaching and researching U.S. women’s history and especially the role of women in devising social policies and leading social movements in the twentieth-century United States. In that process, the lives of many young women have been changed and historians’ understanding of our shared past has been expanded to include the contributions of women. Thank you so very much for setting me on this incredibly rewarding path.