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Tilly, Louise A. (1930–) - European History

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Louise Audino Tilly was born on December 13, 1930, in Orange, New Jersey, of Italian ancestry. Her father was an engineer, her mother a homemaker who had been trained as an artist. Tilly attended public school at P.S. 12 in Queens, New York, then at Longfellow School and Teaneck Junior and Senior High Schools in Teaneck, New Jersey. Among her early influences, Tilly remembers her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Hopper. An interest in the past and in faraway places, nurtured by early voracious reading, encouraged her to study history. She attended Douglass College, Rutgers University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history, with high honors, in 1952. She then earned a master’s degree from Boston University in 1955 and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1974.

Tilly taught at Michigan State University, first as lecturer and then as assistant professor. She then taught at the University of Michigan, as assistant professor from 1975 to 1977, associate professor from 1977 to 1982, and professor from 1982 to 1984. While there she also served as director of women’s studies from 1975 to 1977, and in 1980, 1983, and 1984. Tilly is currently Michael E. Gellert Professor of History and Sociology at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, and chair of its Committee on Historical Studies. She has also worked as a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University and as Directeur d’Etudes Associés, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, in 1979, 1980, 1988, and 1991.

Louise A. Tilly is the author, editor, or co-editor of nine books and fifty scholarly articles. She is known as an interdisciplinary scholar, one who bridges history and sociology as she explores the small-scale effects of large-scale social change on concrete historical settings. In her most recent book, Politics and Class in Milan, 1881–1901 , Tilly explores the relationship between the development of the working class and the rise of the socialist movement in Milan, Italy, at the turn of the century. In her works in progress, Tilly is studying the ways in which industrialization, class formation, and the development of welfare states have shaped gender and family relations globally.

Tilly has been the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including those from the Rockefeller Foundation Population Policy, the Council for European Studies, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Russell Sage Foundation. She has served as an evaluator of grants and fellowships for the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Canadian Social Science Research Council, the Russell Sage Foundation, and several other national and international bodies. She is currently co-editor of International Labor and Working Class History and a member of the editorial boards of Gender and History , the Journal of Historical Sociology, Passato e Presente, Theory and Society , and Women and Work .

Louise Tilly has provided a great deal of service to the profession. She has been president of the American Historical Association and served as chair of the Higby Prize Committee, member and chair of the Committee on Quantification in History, and member of the Council of the Association. She has also been president of the Social Science History Association and a member of the board of the Social Science Research Council.

Louise Tilly’s former spouse is Charles Tilly. They have four children: Christopher, an economist; Kathryn, a molecular biologist; Laura, a lawyer; and Sarah, a graduate student in clinical psychology. Tilly also has two grandchildren, Charlotte and Christopher, the children of her daughter Laura. Her interests include hiking, reading, travel, music, and art.

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