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Harvard professor to explore the history of marriage in America

MIDDLEBURY — Harvard professor Nancy F. Cott will speak in Dana Auditorium on the Middlebury College campus on Thursday, Nov, 12, at 7:30 p.m.  Her topic will be “The Rei(g)n of Marriage: An American History.” A book signing will follow the lecture.
Cott is one of the leading interpreters of American history and has played a central role in shaping the field of U.S. women’s history. She established herself as a rising star in the historical profession with the publication in 1977 of “The Bonds of Womanhood: ‘Women’s Sphere’ in New England, 1780-1835.” Her next book, “The Grounding of Modern Feminism” (1987), revised understanding of the origins of the modern women’s movement in the United States. She is perhaps best known for “Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation” (2000).
Her interest in highlighting the importance of history in the present has been most notably underscored in her role in writing amicus briefs in support of same-sex marriage in recent years. She was the lead author in drafting the historians’ amicus brief on the history of marriage in the recent landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, submitted by the American Historical Association.
In recognition of her scholarly achievements and contributions, Cott was elected in 2008 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Long active in historical associations and organizations, she is the president-elect of the Organization of American Historians.
For further information contact, Jim Ralph, Department of History, Middlebury College, ralph@middlebury.edu, 443-5320.

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