Elizabeth Fox-Genovese: Obituary

Historians in the News

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, a prolific scholar of American history and a sometimes controversial figure in women’s studies, died Tuesday at the age of 65, following complications and infections related to surgery last year. Fox-Genovese has been a professor at Emory University since 1986 and previously taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the University of Rochester. She was the author of numerous books and articles — a number of them about the antebellum South, and some written with her husband, Eugene Genovese. Most recently, they published The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview. Many of Fox-Genovese’s books were in women’s history and she has been credited with path-breaking work in the field. As her career progressed, however, Fox-Genovese clashed with many women’s studies scholars — quitting the directorship of Emory’s women’s studies program in 1992 and criticizing the direction of the discipline, which she viewed as politicized. In 2003, she was awarded a National Humanities Medal. Fox-Genovese and her husband gave a joint interview to The American Enterprise in 1996 that discussed their intellectual and political evolutions, scholarship, and their collaboration.
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