Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Website URL
feminism, women, gender, labor, employment, capitalism, law, Title VII, discrimination, equality, affirmative action, National Organization for Women
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Personal Info

About Me

Katherine Turk specializes in the histories of women, gender and sexuality; law, labor and social movements; and the twentieth century United States. Her first book, Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), examines how sex equality law has remade the world of work, eroding some inequalities and affirming others.  She is writing a history of the National Organization for Women and, with Leandra Zarnow of the University of Houston, a study of the origins and intellectual trajectory of the field of women’s history.

Recent Publications

Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace. Politics and Culture in Modern America Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 312 pps.                      2016 (cloth), 2019 (paper)

“Gender Rights and American Employment,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, forthcoming

“‘To Fulfill an Ambition of (Her) Own’: Work, Class, and Identity in The Feminine Mystique,” Special Issue Section on “The Feminine Mystique at Fifty: Reflecting on the Book that Inspired, Angered, and Forever Changed America,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 36 (Autumn 2015): 25-32.

“‘With Wages So Low How Can a Girl Keep Herself?’: Protective Labor Legislation and Working Women’s Expectations,” The Journal of Policy History 27 (Spring 2015): 250-74.

“‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Should Rock the U. of C.’: The Faculty Wife and the Feminist Era,” The Journal of Women’s History 26 (Summer 2014): 113-134.

“Labor’s Pink-Collar Aristocracy: The National Secretaries’ Association’s Encounters with Feminism in the Age of Automation,” LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 11 (Summer 2014): 85-109.

“‘Our Militancy is in Our Openness’: Gay Employment Rights Activism in California and the Question of Sexual Orientation in Sex Equality Law,” Law and History Review 31 (May 2013): 423-469.

“‘A Fair Chance to Do My Part of Work’: African American Women, War Work and Rights Claims at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant,” Indiana Magazine of History 108 (September 2012): 209-244.

“Out of the Revolution, Into the Mainstream: Employment Activism in the NOW Sears Campaign and the Growing Pains of Liberal Feminism,” Journal of American History 97 (September 2010): 399-423.          


Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Economic History, Gender, Politics, Sexuality, Women