American Philosophical Society
Member History

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303. History Since 1715[X]
1Name:  Dr. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  3. Social Sciences
 Subdivision:  303. History Since 1715
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
   
 
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich received her Ph.D. at the University of New Hampshire in 1980, then joined the UNH faculty, remaining until 1995. She then moved to Harvard University where she is currently the 300th Anniversary University Professor, having previously been the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History. She is the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (1982); A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1820 (1990); and The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Making of an American Myth (2001). Her latest work is entitled "We're No Angels: Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History" (2007). Dr. Ulrich is one of the finest, most innovative historians working today. Her three books are compelling. A Midwife's Tale is a trail-blazing book that has had an extraordinary impact on the history profession because of its innovative shift in the angle from which local history is viewed. It has won the most distinguished prizes in American history. Dr. Ulrich is credited with having made a major breakthrough in the history of women in the colonial era, as she found ways to make them real instead of abstractions from statistics or representatives of an elite class. Her use of material objects as evidence has changed the way we think about early American domestic life and work and has reconstructed an important dimension of eighteenth-century culture. She is a wonderful stylist, and her works are widely read. Dr. Ulrich received the Best Book Award from the Society for History of the Early Republic in 1990; the Best Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians in 1990; the John Dunning Prize and Joan Kelly Prize from the American Historical Association in 1990; the Bancroft Prize for American History in 1991; and the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1991. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2003.
 
Election Year
2003 (1)