Hewitt, Nancy A.


Contact Information

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Tel: 848-932-8252

Office: 222 Van Dyck Hall


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

B.A., State University of New York, Brockport

Research Interests

Professor Hewitt's interests include American women's history, nineteenth century U.S. history, women's activism in all its wonderful variety, women and work, the interplay of race and class with sex/gender, religion and reform, and feminism in comparative perspective. She is currently rethinking the grand narrative of American women's early political history - from Seneca Falls to suffrage - by placing the events of the period in a more global context and by taking seriously the versions of woman's rights embraced by African Americans, workers, immigrants, and American Indians. She is also working on a biography of nineteenth-century radical activist, Amy Post.

Biographical Notes

Professor Hewitt has taught at the University of South Florida, Duke University and the University of Cambridge as well as Rutgers. Her research interests include US and comparative women's history; women's activism (broadly defined), feminism (broadly defined); women and work; and community studies/ethnography. Professor Hewitt has authored two monographs: Women’s Activism and Social Change: Rochester, New York, 1822- 1872 (Cornell University Press, 1984) and Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s (University of Illinois Press, 2001). Her edited collections include A Companion to American Women’s History (Blackwell Pubs, 2002) and the two-volume collection, Women, Families and Communities: Readings in American History (2nd ed., Longman’s, 2008). She is also the co-author of Who Built America?, an American history textbook that highlights gender, race and class issues (3rd ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008). Most recently, she published the edited volume No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism (Rutgers University Press, 2010).In the past several years, Prof. Hewitt has written a number of articles that re-contextualize the emergence of woman’s rights in the U.S. from global as well as national perspectives. See especially, “’Seeking a Larger Liberty’: Remapping Nineteenth Century Woman’s Rights,” in Kathryn Kish Sklar and James Stewart, eds., Sisterhood and Slavery: Transatlantic Perspectives (Yale University Press, 2007), “Re-rooting American Women’s Activism: Global Perspectives on 1848,” in Karen Offen, ed., Globalizing Feminisms, 1789-1945 (Routledge, 2010), and “From Seneca Falls to Suffrage? Reimagining a ‘Master’ Narrative in U.S. Women’s History,” in No Permanent Waves. In 2007, she published a final article based on her research on Anglo, Black, and Latina women activists in Florida: “Economic Crisis and Political Mobilization: Reshaping Cultures of Resistance in Tampa’s Communities of Color, 1929-1939,” in Sharon Harley, ed., Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (Rutgers University Press, 2007). Prof. Hewitt is now working on an article on race, region and the U.S. women’s suffrage movement; and an article on rethinking the oceanic wave metaphor as the primary trope for describing/ analyzing the history of U.S. feminism.

Awards, Felloships, and Grants

  • Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions, University of Cambridge, 2009-2010
  • Julia Cherry Spruill Prize for SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT, Southern Association of Women Historians, 2002
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. 2000-2001
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, 1996-97

Selected Publications

  • Co-author (with Steven Lawson), Exploring American Histories: A Brief Survey with Sources (Bedford/St. Martin's, December 2012)
  • Editor, No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism (Rutgers University Press, 2010)
  • Editor, Companion to American Women's History (Blackwell's Publishers, 2002)
  • Southern Discomfort: Women's Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s (University of Illinois Press, 2001)
  • Co-author, Who Built America? Vol. 1 (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000)
  • “’Seeking  a Larger Liberty’: The U.S. Woman’s Rights Movement in Transatlantic Perspective,” in Kathryn Kish Sklar and James Brewer Stewart, eds., Woman’s Rights and Abolition in the Atlantic World (Yale University Press, 2007)
  • “Economic Crises and Political Mobilization: Reshaping Cultures of Resistance in Tampa’s Communities of Color, 1929-1939,” in Sharon Harley, ed., Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (Rutgers University Press, 2007
  • “Luisa Capetillo: Feminist of the Working Class,” in Latina Legacies: Identity, Biography and Community, eds. Vicki Ruiz and Virginia Sanchez Korrol (Oxford Univ Press, 2005)
  • "Re-rooting American Women's Activism: Global Perspectives on 1848," in Patricia Grimshaw, et al, eds., Woman's Rights as Human Rights (Palgrave, 2001)
  • "The Emma Thread," in Nupur Chaudhuri and Eileen Boris, eds., Voices of Women Historians (Indiana University Press, 1999)

Courses Offered


  • 512:103 Development of U.S. I
  • 512:380 Women in American History I
  • 512:383 Women’s Rights in America
  • 988:301/302 Comparative Feminisms


  • 510:539 Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
  • 510:549 Research Seminar in Women's and Gender History
  • 510:560 Problems and Directed Readings in Women's and Gender History

Professional Affiliations

  • Editorial Board, Rutgers University Press
  • Advisory Board, Feminist Studies
  • Advisory Board, HistoryMatters: American History on the Web
  • Advisory Board, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society