Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI and Radcliffe Institute Fellow, Harvard University
Website URL
women, politics, voting rights, disfranchisement, Nineteenth Amendment, woman suffrage, African American disfranchisement
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Prof. Gidlow is an expert on gender and race in U.S. politics since the Civil War. She writes and speaks on woman suffrage, voting rights, Black disfranchisement, voter participation, and related topics. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and a former Mellon-Schlesinger Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Professor Gidlow has published two books: The Big Vote, which analyzes how massive, non-partisan voter turnout campaigns in the 1920s helped to contain the radical potential of woman suffrage by establishing new norms of “expert citizenship” and “consumer citizenship”; and Obama, Clinton, Palin, a collection of essays by top-ranking historians that takes the long view on the historic 2008 presidential election.

Her next book, The Nineteenth Amendment and the Politics of Race, 1920-1970, uncovers connections between the woman suffrage movement of the 1910s and the Black freedom movements of the 1950s and 1960s by focusing on the voting rights struggles of southern Black women after the 19th Amendment was adopted.

Professor Gidlow earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Cornell University, a master’s degree in history from Ohio State, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Before joining academe she worked as a legislative staffer in the U.S. Congress and as chief of staff to a member of the Ohio Senate.


Recent Publications

“Woman Suffrage, Women’s Votes.” In A Companion to U.S. Women’s History, eds. Nancy Hewitt and Anne Valk, 2e.  (New York:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2020): 193-208. Nov. 2020.

“After the ‘Century of Struggle’:  The Nineteenth Amendment, Southern African American Women, and the Problem of Female Disfranchisement After 1920.”  In Suffrage at 100:   Women in American Politics Since 1920, Leandra Zarnow (U. Houston) and Stacie Taranto (Ramapo College of New Jersey), eds. (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020): 75-89.

“More than Double:  African American Women and the Rise of a Women’s Vote.” Journal of Women’s History 32 (Spring 2020), 52-61.

“Forum:  Interchange – Women’s Suffrage, the Nineteenth Amendment, and the Right to Vote.Journal of American History, 106, no. 3 (Dec. 2019), 662-94.

“Beyond 1920: Legacies of the Woman Suffrage Movement.” In Tamara Gaskell, ed., The Nineteenth Amendment and Women’s Access to the Vote Across America (Washington, D.C.:  U.S. National Park Service, 2019).

“The Sequel: The Fifteenth Amendment, the Nineteenth Amendment, and Southern Black Women’s Struggle to Vote, 1890s-1920s.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, vol. 17, no. 3 (July 2018).

The Big Vote:  Gender, Consumer Culture, and the Politics of Exclusion, 1890s-1920s (Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins University Press:  2004; paperback, 2007).

Obama, Clinton, Palin:  Making History in 2008 (Urbana, IL:  University of    Illinois Press, 2012). Named a CHOICE Recommended Title by the American Library Association.

Media Coverage
"Stacey Abrams Could Have as Much Impact on 2020 as Kamala Harris," Washington Post, 13 August 2020. Emma Green, “The Epic Political Battle Over the Legacy of the Suffragettes.” The Atlantic, 4 June 2019.
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Government, Politics, Race, Women