Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI and Radcliffe Institute Fellow, Harvard University
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women, politics, voting rights, disfranchisement, Nineteenth Amendment, woman suffrage, African American disfranchisement
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About Me

Prof. Gidlow is the 2019-2020 Mellon-Schlesinger Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, where she is participating in the Long Nineteenth Amendment Project at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.

An associate professor in the History Department at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Prof. Gidlow is an expert in 19th- and 20th-century U.S. gender and politics.  She 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 Nineteenth Amendment of 1920 and the Black freedom movements of the 1950s and 1960s, bringing into conversation two historical narratives that previously have been treated separately.

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