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Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth Ann (1941–) - U.S. Intellectual, Southern, and Women’s History; French History

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Elizabeth Ann Fox-Genovese was born May 28, 1941, in Boston, Massachusetts, of Anglo-Saxon Protestant, Scotch-Irish, and German-Jewish ancestry. Her father, Edward Whiting Fox, was a professor of history, and her mother, Elizabeth Mary Simon Fox, was a researcher and homemaker. Elizabeth attended elementary schools in Ithaca and Lake Placid, New York, and in Princeton, New Jersey. She attended high school in Le Chambon sur Lignon, France, and in Concord, Massachusetts. Among her early influences were her parents and her paternal grandmother. She loved reading, especially Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jane Austen. Several of her teachers and an opportunity to travel in Europe also influenced her thinking as a child.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese spent a year at Cornell before going to Bryn Mawr College, where she had deferred her admission. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and French in 1963. Since her father was a historian and her mother had a master’s degree in history, Elizabeth was drawn to the field. Her grandmother’s stories of growing up, combined with her own reading and travel, further influenced her. “Mainly, it came naturally,” she states. “I had grown up thinking historically. It seemed more familiar and comfortable than anything else.” Fox-Genovese then attended Harvard University, where she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history, in 1966 and 1974.

Fox-Genovese’s first academic position was at the University of Rochester, where she worked as assistant and then associate professor of history from 1973 to 1980. From 1980 to 1986 she was professor of history at Binghamton University, State University of New York. She left Binghamton to take a position as professor of history and founding director of Women’s Studies at Emory University. In 1988 Fox-Genovese was named Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities at Emory University.

Author or co-author of seven books, editor of another seven books, and author of nearly seventy articles, Fox-Genovese has gained both a national and an international reputation. Her most recent books, Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life and Feminism Without Illusions: A Critique of Individualism , establish her as one of the most controversial critics of contemporary feminist thought. Another of her books, Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South , received the C. Hugh Holman Prize from the Society of Southern Literature and the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association of Women Historians, and was named Outstanding Book of the Year by the Gustavus Myer Center for the Study of Human Rights. In addition, she is the editor of Feminist Issues and has served on the editorial boards of several other journals, including Southern Cultures, Women’s History Journal , and Partisan Review .

The scope of Fox-Genovese’s writing is broad, reaching academic and popular audiences and addressing a variety of topics and periods, including contemporary literary criticism, multicultural education, women and religious practice, southern women novelists, African-American women’s experiences of slavery, feminist and postmodern theory, and autobiographies of black and white women in the U.S. South. Because of her national and international reputation as both a serious and a controversial scholar, Fox-Genovese has been invited to give lectures and keynote addresses at over eighty colleges and universities in the United States and abroad during the past five years.

Fox-Genovese has been the recipient of many fellowships, including those from the National Humanities Center, the American Council for Learned Societies and Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Newberry Library, the New York Institute for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has performed professional service by serving as a jury member for the Pulitzer Prize in History, on the Harvard Graduate Society Council, on the Steering Committee of the National Council for History Standards, and on the executive council of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature and the Social Science History Association. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Institute for American Values, the Independent Women’s Forum, the American Academy for Liberal Education, the Black Periodical Literature Project, and the American Comparative Literature Association.

Fox-Genovese also has several works in progress, including Ghosts and Memories: History in the Fictions of African-American Women Writers , under contract with the University of Virginia Press, and, with Eugene D. Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class , a cultural, intellectual, and “psychohistorical” study of the antebellum planter class, under contract with W. W. Norton.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese married historian Eugene Dominick Genovese in 1969. Her hobbies include needlepoint, professional baseball and football, contemporary women writers, politics, her pets, and friends and family. She also provides community service, currently serving on the boards of directors of the Atlanta Historical Association and the Sheridan Walk Homeowners Association.

Fox, Harold C. [next] [back] Fox-Case, Movietone, and the Talking Newsreel - Movietone Netvsreels

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