Historian and Author Martha Jones joins our Gender & American Culture series as Co-Editor

UNC Press is thrilled to announce that the esteemed historian Martha Jones has agreed to serve as co-editor of the Press’s longstanding series, Gender and American Culture. Martha Jones is Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, Professor of History, and Professor at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. A legal and cultural historian whose work focuses on the experiences of Black Americans, Jones has also consistently centered the histories of gender and sexualities in her research and writing. Among her many contributions to the field, she is immediate past president of the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities. 

As series co-editor, Jones will join Mary Kelley, Ruth Bordin Collegiate Professor of History, American Culture, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. Kelley has been involved with the series in advisory capacity since its inception, and she became co-editor in 2007. As series co-editor, Kelley has helped shepherd dozens of books into print, including recent award-winning titles such as Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Civil Rights Movementby Katherine Marino (2020); and Veil and Vow: Marriage Matters in Contemporary African American Culture, by Aneeka Ayanna Henderson. Kelley’s pathbreaking books include Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life, published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in association with UNC Press. Kelley is currently working on “Converse of the Pen: Reading and Writing from the American Revolution to the Civil War,” a book that explores the relationship between the common practice of reading and writing and the formation of discursive communities ranging from radical politics to cultural refinement to evangelical moral reform.

Jones joins Kelley as the sixth scholar to serve as editor of Gender and American Culture, following series editors emerita Thadious M. Davis, Linda K. Kerber, Nell Irvin Painter, and Annette Kolodny. Guided by feminist perspectives, the series examines the social construction and influence of gender and sexuality within the full range of American cultures. The series presents outstanding scholarship from all areas of American studies–including history, literature, religion, folklore, ethnography, and the visual arts–that investigates in a thoroughly contextualized and lively fashion the ways in which gender works with and against markers of difference such as race, class, ethnicity, and region.

Jones’s most recent book is Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020), winner of the Los Angeles Times book prize in history and selected as one of Time’s100 must-read books for 2020.  Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America(2018), was winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award (best book in civil rights history), the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize (best book in American legal history), the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award (best book in Anglo-American legal history) and the Baltimore City Historical Society Scholars honor for 2020. Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (2015), both published by UNC Press, together with many articles and essay.  

Jones and Kelley are currently helping UNC Press expand the Gender and American Culture series editorial board and plan an expansion of its list in the field of gender and sexuality studies.  As the Press marks its 100th anniversary in 2022, these developments promise to confirm the centrality of scholarship on gender and sexuality to the Press’s publishing program.

“We are unbelievably fortunate to have a public scholar of Martha Jones’s caliber joining the extraordinary Mary Kelley in helping us shape our book list,” said Mark Simpson-Vos, Wyndham Robertson Editorial Director and acquiring editor for the series. “Martha and Mary are wonderful colleagues and creative co-thinkers whose long association with UNC Press is an honor and joy. Their shared commitment to scholarly rigor and fostering books with meaningful impact make them ideal partners.”

For more information about the Gender and American Culture series, including guidelines for proposal and manuscript submissions, visit www.uncpress.org.