American Philosophical Society
Member History

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303. History Since 1715[X]
1Name:  Dr. Alice Kessler-Harris
 Institution:  Columbia University
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  3. Social Sciences
 Subdivision:  303. History Since 1715
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
Alice Kessler-Harris is currently the R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower at Columbia University.Born in England, she received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1968. She won the Bancroft Prize from Columbia University in 2001 and the Philip Taft Prize from Cornell University in 2001 and 2007. She is the author of: The Open Cage: An Anzia Yezierska Collection, 1979; Women Have Always Worked: A Historical Overview, 1981; Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States, 1982; A Woman's Wage: Historical Meanings and Social Consequences, 1990; In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America, 2001; and Gendering Labor History, 2007. She is a member of the American Studies Association (president, 1992); Law and Working Class History Association (president, 2008); and the Organization of American Historians (president-elect, 2009). Alice Kessler-Harris is a pioneering historian of a labor history that embraces women as well as men and a writer who regularly engages the deep moral and political questions that have shaped American life. She is associated with devising the concept of "economic citizenship" and tracing its development through the course of the 20th century, challenging established understandings of Social Security and other federal policies that affect all citizens. Her two major books are each based on over a decade of archival research. She has written or edited nine more books and more than 60 essays and articles, some, like "Organizing the unorganizable" (1975), "Treating the male as other" (1993), and "Coalitions of the imagination" (2004) have become classics. Kessler-Harris is unusual among social historians for her attentiveness to the arts and to literature; she played a major role in introducing the Yiddish writer Anzia Yezierskia to the American public. She is now engaged in writing a biography of Lillian Hellman, which is forthcoming in 2012. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2012.
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