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Walkowitz, Judith Rosenberg (1945–) - History of Women and Sexuality

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Judith Rosenberg Walkowitz was born on September 13, 1945, in New York City, the daughter of lawyer parents. She attended P.S. 56 in the Bronx, then Baldwin Junior and Senior High Schools on Long Island, New York. The excitement of the history department at the University of Rochester, where she attended college, in addition to a belief that social change was possible, encouraged Walkowitz to pursue a career as a historian. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester with high honors in 1967. She did her graduate work there as well, earning a master’s degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1974.

After completing her dissertation, which explored prostitution in the United States during the late nineteenth century, Walkowitz accepted a position as assistant professor of history at Rutgers University. She worked there until 1989, becoming associate professor in 1979 and professor in 1984. In 1983 she was visiting associate professor of history at the University of California at Irvine. Since 1989 Walkowitz has been professor of history and director of women’s studies at Johns Hopkins University. She has taught on such varied subjects as the history of sexuality, witchcraft and magic, Victorian London, and crime and society in modern Europe.

Walkowitz is the author or editor of three books, all of which explore issues of sexuality from a historical perspective. Her most recent, City of Dreadful Delight , explores narratives of sexual danger in late-Victorian London. Another of her books, Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class and the State , won the Berkshire Conference Book Prize. Walkowitz has also published ten scholarly articles on topics that include Jack the Ripper, feminist historiography, and the politics of prostitution. Among her current projects are an article on sexual harassment in Victorian London and a book on the cultural geography of London’s West End.

Judith R. Walkowitz has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including those from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She has served on the editorial board of Victorian Studies since 1992, was the co-organizer of the Gender and Nationalism Conference held at Bellagio, Italy, in 1992, and has served on the Speakers Bureau of the American Historical Association. She also currently serves on the editorial board of Differences and the Journal of British Studies . From 1987 to 1990 she served as the president of the Berkshire Conference on Women Historians, and she has also chaired the Committee on Women Historians of the American Historical Association. Walkowitz has served as a reviewer for the Rockefeller Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and as a consultant to the National Science Foundation.

Judith Rosenberg Walkowitz is married to Daniel J. Walkowitz and is the mother of one child, Rebecca. Her interests include swimming, tennis, snorkeling, theater, and film.

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