Rebecca Edwards Professor of History on the Eloise Ellery Chair
Rebecca Edwards received her PhD in 1995 from the University of Virginia. Her research interests focus on the post-Civil War era and include electoral politics and the history of women and gender. She teaches courses on the 19th-century United States, women in the United States up to 1890, and the American West, including a First-Year Writing Seminar.
- BA, College of William and Mary; MA, PhD, University of Virginia
- At Vassar since 1995
Research and Academic Interests
- HIST 260/WMST. Sex & Reproduction in 19th Century United States: Before Margaret Sanger
- HIST 375. Years of Disunion: The U.S. Civil War
In the Media
How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror
19th-Century Politics and Society
Rebecca Edwards was featured on C-Span 3’s Lectures in History, teaching a class.
Can March For Our Lives rally avoid the fate of the Million Mom March?
Rebecca Edwards was quoted in a USA Today story about the March For Our Lives rallies.
Practicing What She Preaches
History Prof. Rebecca Edwards is an expert on American political history, but she had never run for office before this year’s election. She and her and her team canvassed neighborhoods and ran an upbeat campaign on social media—and won a seat in the Dutchess County Legislature with 53 percent of the vote.
On the Campaign Trail
In several of her classes, History Prof. Rebecca Edwards and her students look at the electoral process from a historical perspective. Now Edwards is part of the process herself, campaigning for a seat in the Dutchess County Legislature.
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Rebecca Edwards received her PhD in 1995 from the University of Virginia. Her research interests focus on the post-Civil War era and include electoral politics and the history of women and gender. She teaches courses on the 19th-century United States, women in the United States up to 1890, and the American West, including a First-Year Writing Seminar. Professor Edwards is the author of Angels in the Machinery: Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to the Progressive Era (Oxford University Press, 1997) and New Spirits: Americans in the “Gilded Age,” 1865-1905 (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2010). She is co-author, with James A. Henretta and Robert O. Self, of America’s History, 7th edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2011). Recent publications include “Women’s and Gender History” in American History Now, ed. Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr (Temple University Press and the American Historical Association, 2011).
Professor Edwards is currently working on an article about US politics in the 1880s and a collection of documents on the march of Jacob Coxey’s army of the unemployed in 1894. She is beginning research for a project about the significance of women’s economic and reproductive roles in US political development.