Jane Sherron De Hart

Professor Emerita, Department of History University of California, Santa Barbara and author of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life 

Jane Sherron De Hart is Professor of History Emerita at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She began her professional career as an historian of U.S. politics. She published her first book, THE FEDERAL THEATRE: PLAYS, RELIEF, and POLITICS (Princeton University Press, l967), as well as articles on arts policy in Journal of American History and the American Historical Review. She also served as principal investigator for a Rockefeller Foundation-supported study of governmental support of the arts, focusing on artistic freedom and public accountability just as the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities were established in Washington, D.C.

Moving into the new field of women’s history in the 1970s and l980s, she created, with Linda Kerber, a major anthology in the field, WOMEN’S AMERICA: REFOCUSING THE PAST (Oxford University Press).(The ninth edition of the anthology is currently available.) Refocusing her own research as well, De Hart won American Political Science Association’s Victoria Shuck Award for the best book published in 1982 on women and politics for her co-authored book, SEX, GENDER, AND THE POLITICS OF ERA (the proposed Equal Rights Amendment), while serving as Professor of History and Director of Women Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also received a Distinguished Service Award from N.C. Governor James Hunt.

Moving to the University of California at Santa Barbara in l992, De Hart mentored some stellar graduate students in American history as she began focusing on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s equal protection litigation during the 1970s. That project culminated in RUTH BADER GINSBURG: A LIFE. Published by Knopf in October 2018, the Ginsburg biography was hailed as “monumental” by Kirkus Review. In The Washington Post, Jeffrey Rosen called the biography “excellent … in its comprehensiveness, range, and attention to detail … a vivid account of a remarkable life.”

A national bestseller, the paperback edition was published in April 2020. A British edition updated to span Ginsburg’s full career will appear in bookstores in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand in December 2020. A translation is currently underway for a Chinese edition for circulation in mainland China.

The recipient of two Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, De Hart also served as co- Bicentennial Professor of American Studies at the University of Helsinki (Finland) in l981-82.

Praise of De Hart’s scholarship also extends to her service to her profession. She has served on boards of editors of various professional journals and on boards of organizations such as the American Studies Association and the Organization of American Historians. In May, 2019, Duke University Graduate School presented De Hart with its Distinguish Alumni Award.

Currently retired from the UCSB faculty, she works from her home office at l94 Coronada Circle, Santa Barbara, CA 93108 and can be reached via email(dehart@ucsb.edu) or at 805-468-0068.

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