William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Gender and Women's Studies
Associate Dean for Faculty
Gender And Womens Studies
203 Boody-Johnson House
Current teaching schedule available on the public course finder.
U.S. Women’s History, Twentieth Century; Consumer Culture; Popular Culture; Feminist Biography; Feminist Pedagogy
Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians, 2011-2015
Until There is Justice: the Life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman. New York: Oxford University Press, in press, publication date February 2016.
Until There is Justice tells the history of America’s black freedom struggles as seen through the life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman (1899-1990), a vital but until now understudied civil rights leader. Hedgeman worked as a teacher in the Deep South and grappled with a segregated YWCA as an executive in the North during the 1920s. She was an emergency relief worker and supervisor in New York City during the Depression, a fair employment practices advocate in Washington during World War II, an assistant to New York City’s Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. in the 1950s, and a critical advocate for civil rights legislation in the 1960s and 1970s. She ran for political office three times, directed the first organized attempt on the part of African Americans to influence a presidential election, and worked as the only female member of the organizing committee that planned the 1963 March on Washington.
The events of Hedgeman’s life would be reason enough for a biography, but her life also provides a window into the ways in which Americans tangled with critical questions about personal and national identity as they moved through the twentieth century. Hedgeman struggled to understand how her religious life fit with her political life, how to integrate civil rights and black power philosophies and demands, and, perhaps most importantly, how to foster lasting social change. She interacted on a close professional and personal level with many of the movement’s most well-known male leaders, and she alternately deferred to them and resisted their authority. Until There is Justice tells the moving story of Anna Hedgeman’s exceptional life, and recasts key elements of America’s civil rights history with a woman in the central role she earned and deserves.
Scanlon, Jennifer. Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback edition Penguin, 2010.
Helen Gurley Brown, celebrated author of the 1962 international best-seller Sex and the Single Girl, diva of the New York magazine world, Living Landmark of New York City, and thirty-year editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, offered her Cosmo readers several pieces of advice in her farewell column in February 1997. Among them: every woman has something that makes her unique and gifted; pursuing beauty can be a delightful endeavor, not just a preoccupation; sex is among the best things in life; and men are not the enemy. With these brief directives Brown summarized the philosophy that made her such an important and contested figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century. To conservatives, Brown’s books and magazine released the single woman from all social constraints, making her an autonomous, sexually liberated threat to the institutions of marriage and family. To many feminists in the nascent and then evolving women’s liberation movement, Brown’s views enhanced men’s rather than women’s lives by turning women into sexually available playmates.
For her legion of fans, however, Helen Gurley Brown represented another arena, one in which female independence and sexuality, heterosexual relationships, and the celebration of beauty coexisted amicably, if not always altogether peacefully, with feminism. Her message, that “men are wonderful and children are wonderful and you may need both to fulfill your life,” paired with “you should not, you must not live through those people,” resonated with American women who wanted to claim sexual and personal satisfaction in addition to economic independence. When Brown repeatedly claimed, “I am a feminist,” she spoke not only for herself but also for her “girls,” first for her Single Girls, then for her Cosmo Girls, and always for millions of mainstream American women.
From Preface, Bad Girls Go Everywhere
Scanlon, Jennifer, ed. The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2000.
Scanlon, Jennifer, ed. Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. (Named Outstanding Academic Book, 1999, Choice Magazine; remains on American College and Research Libraries Core List in Women’s Studies)
Scanlon, Jennifer. Inarticulate Longings: The Ladies' Home Journal, Gender, and the Promises of Consumer Culture. New York: Routledge, 1995.
“’The Space Between,’: Rediscovering the Folly Cove Designers,” Massachusetts Review, forthcoming, June 2015.
“Methodological Reflections on Readers and on Reading Women’s Journals,” accepted and forthcoming in A Space of Their Own: Women and the Periodical Press in China’s Long Twentieth Century, ed. Joan Judge and Barbara Mittler. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
"What's An Acquisitive Girl To Do? Chick Lit and the Great Recession," Women’s Studies, vol. 42, no. 8 (2013), 904-922.
“’A Dozen Ideas to the Minute’: Advertising Women, Advertising to Women,” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 5, no. 3 (2013), 273-290. Highly Commended, Emerald Publishing Literati Award for Excellence
“Redefining Thrift: The Ladies’ Home Journal and the Modern Woman,” Legacies (Nov. 2012), 12-17.
“Betty Friedan,” Reprinted from Bad Girls Go Everywhere, in The Feminine Mystique; 50th Anniversary Edition, Norton Critical Edition, ed. Kirsten Fermaglich and Lisa Fine (New York: W.W. Norton, 2013), 498-503.
“Thrift and Advertising,” in Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present, ed. Joshua J. Yates and James Davidson Hunter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 284-306.
“Sexy from the Start: Anticipatory Elements of Second Wave Feminism,” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 38, no. 2 (Spring 2009), 127-150.
“Sensationalist Literature or Expert Advice? Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl In Its Publishing Context," Feminist Media Studies, vol. 9, no. 1 (Spring 2009), 1-15.
“Admen and Housewives: Thrift and the Advent of Advertising,” forthcoming in Capitalism & Moral Order: A Social History of Thrift in America from the Puritans to the Present, ed. James Davison Hunter and Josh Yates (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
“Conceptualizing U.S. Women’s History through Consumerism,” in Clio in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching U.S. Women’s History, ed. Carol Berkin, Margaret Crocco, and Barbara Winslow (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 119-133.
“’If My Husband Calls I’m Not Here’: The Beauty Parlor as Real and Representational Female Space,” Feminist Studies, vol. 33, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 308-334.
“‘How Did She Know?’ Confessional Narratives from an Online Interpretive Community,” Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative, vol. 5, no. 4 (Summer 2006): 237-47.
“Reading Landscapes: The American Suburbs,” History Compass, vol. 4, no. 4 (July 2006): 731-740. Teaching guide subsequently requested and featured online.
“Making Shopping Safe for the Rest of Us: Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Series,” Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 2005),
“`Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore’: U.S. Consumers, Wal-Mart and the Commodification of Patriotism,” in The Selling of 9 /11: How a National Tragedy Became a Commodity. Ed. Dana Heller. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 174-199.
“Reading and Rereading the Game: Reflections on West Indies Cricket,” with Michael Arthur, in In the Game: Race, Identity, and Sports in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Amy Bass. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 117-135.
“Introduction” to Inarticulate Longings, Reprinted in Gender in a Transnational World: Introduction to Women’s Studies. Ed. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2001, 2nd ed., 2005.
“Old Housekeeping, New Housekeeping, or No Housekeeping? The Kitchenless Home Movement and the Women’s Service Magazine,” Journalism History 30 (April 2004): 2-10.
“Mediators in the International Marketplace: U.S. Advertising in Latin America in the Early Twentieth Century,” Business History Review 77 (Autumn 2003): 387-415.
"Material, Girls: Women and Popular Culture in the 20th Century," Radical History Review 66 (Fall 1996): 172-183.
"Empathy Education: Teaching About Women and Poverty in the Introductory Women's Studies Classroom," Radical Teacher 48 (Spring, 1996): 7-10. Reprinted in Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences, A Tribute to Paulo Freire. Ed. Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. New York: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 2000.
"Culturally Diverse or Culturally Divisive: Entering the Debate on Multicultural Education," Diversity 3 (Spring 1995): 9-17.
“Boys-R-Us: Board Games and the Socialization of Young Adolescent Girls” in Images of the Child: Past, Present, Future. Ed. Harry Eiss. Bowling Green, OH: Popular Press, 1994: 100-111. Reprinted in Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Manik and Jack Solomon. Boston: St. Martin’s Press, 2003, 2000. Reprinted in Delinquents and Debutantes: Twentieth-Century American Girls' Cultures. Ed. Sherrie A. Inness. NY: NYU Press, 1998.
"Educating the Living, Remembering the Dead: The Montreal Massacre as Metaphor," Feminist Teacher, vol. 8, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 1994): 75-79. Reprinted in The Feminist Teacher Anthology: Pedagogies and Classroom Practices (best articles from a decade of the journal). Ed. Gail Cohee et al. NY: Teacher's College Press, 1997.
"The Truly Well-Lit Path: Toward a Violence-Free College Campus," Initiatives, vol. 56, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 31-40.
"Feminist Pedagogy Meets Male Sports: A Workshop on Gender Sensitivity for the Men's Rugby Club," NWSA Journal, vol. 6, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 442-451.
"Land/Scape/Goat: Women, Environments, and the Politics of Safety.” In Re-Naming The Landscape. Ed. Jurgen Kleist and Bruce A. Butterfield. New York: Peter Lang, 1994: 227-238.
"Challenging the Imbalances of Power in Feminist Oral History: Developing a Take-and-Give Methodology," Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 16, no. 6 (November-December 1993): 639-645.
"Keeping Our Activist Selves Alive in the Classroom: Feminist Pedagogy and Political Activism," Feminist Teacher, vol. 7, no. 2 (Spring 1993): 8-14. Reprinted in Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences, A Tribute to Paulo Freire. Ed. Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. New York: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 2000.
"Feminist Pedagogy and Everyday Teaching: Results of a Women's Studies Program Self Study," Transformations, vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1993): 70-76.
In her Oct. 17, 2011, talk, "Taking Women Seriously, Wherever We Find Them," Scanlon presented three case studies from her work that reflect themes in the discipline: The Shopper, The Popular Women's Magazine Reader, and Behind-the-Scenes Political Organizer.
Gerda Lerner: In Memoriam,” History News Network (invited), January 21, 2013: http://hnn.us/node/150171#disqus_thread
“Rule Breaking—Toes Include,” Room for Debate, New York Times, June 30, 2011
“The Risks, The Rewards,” New York Times, October 8, 2009
“What Kind of Women Raise Feminist Girls?” Skirt, Sept. 2009
“The Practical Feminist,” The Guardian (London), June 12, 2009
“Helen Gurley Brown,” Rorotoko, May 2009
August 2012 (On occasion of death of Helen Gurley Brown): “Late Night Live,” Australian Broadcast Corporation, Radio National; “The Last Word,” BBC Radio 4; CBS Radio News, NYC; CBS Radio News, Los Angeles; WTOP Radio, Washington, DC: BBC Radio Scotland; BBC World Service Radio, London; WNYC Public Radio, NYC; National Public Radio; Los Angeles Public Radio; BBC London Radio 4; KTRS, St. Louis; Newstalk 106, Radio Dublin
February 2012: Featured Scholar for “Sex and the Single Girl,” Radio Documentary in Celebration of Fiftieth Anniversary of publication of Sex and the Single Girl, Whistledown Productions for BBC, London
Spring 2009 (On publication of Bad Girls Go Everywhere): Jean Chatzky Show, Oprah’s Sirius Satellite Radio; National Public Radio; WILL (NPR), Illinois; Sam Greenfield Show,WVNJ (NYC metropolitan area); 2 Boomer Babes, WCEI (Baltimore); Ian and Margery Show, FM 107.1 (Minneapolis); Australian Radio National; Tom Dunne Show, Irish National Radio
August 2102 (On occasion of death of Helen Gurley Brown): CBS This Morning, National/NYC; BBC World Service Television, London/South Africa
Winter 2012: “Money and the Single Girl, Fellowship, Newsletter of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
August 2012 (On occasion of death of Helen Gurley Brown): Women’s Wear Daily, People, Financial Times, Time, Globe and Mail (Toronto), Times (London), New York Times
2015 Interviewed for Documentary on Folly Cove Designers
2015 Featured in New York Times Magazine article, “Having It All,” (1/5/2015)
2014 Featured in International Business Times, “Celebrity Mothers” (2/22/2014)
2013 Featured in New York Times article, “Making a Word Meme” (5/17/2013)