Janann M. Sherman
Chair of the Department
Office: 219 Mitchell
Education: Ph.D., History, Rutgers University, 1993
Fields of interest
20th-Century American Political and Social History; Post-1945 America; Women’s History;
The Cold War
My research focuses, for the most part, on American women in the 20th century, particularly with respect to their relationships to politics. My first book,
The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage, examined the story of the achievement of the 19th Amendment on the national level and the final battle in Tennessee to secure the 36th ratification of the amendment to make it law. My second book, which was also my dissertation,
is a biography of Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, who served 33 years in the
U.S. Congress, 24 of them as the sole woman in the U.S. Senate. Her life was the perfect
device with which to examine mid-20th-century politics through the lens of gender and culture. Interviews with Betty Friedan was an exploration of Friedan’s political strategies and philosophy. My current research
takes me in a slightly different direction, although still looking at woman’s place
in 20th-century America and politics. It will be a biography of aviation pioneer Phoebe Fairgrave
Omlie, a contemporary of Amelia Earhart, who began her career as a barnstormer and
later became a bureaucrat in the New Deal administration. Part of the network of New
Deal women in the Roosevelt administration, Omlie was also the only woman to work
in aviation at the federal level just as the field was becoming institutionalized.
I am currently working with my colleague, Dr. Beverly Bond, on a History of the University
of Memphis to be released in conjunction with the university’s centennial celebration
Gateway Program in History (Rutgers University), American Women/American Lives (New
York Council for the Humanities), U.S. Survey, U.S. Since World War II, Black and
White Women in American History, Gender and Sexuality as Issues in American Politics,
American Public History, Teaching for Teaching Assistants, The American Civil Rights
Movement, The Sixties in America, Women in American Politics, Modern America, Whose
History Is It, Anyway?
- The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage (with Carol Yellin), Iris Press, 1998.
- No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Rutgers University Press,1999.
- Interviews with Betty Friedan, University Press of Mississippi, 2002.
- Memphis in Black and White (with Beverly G. Bond), Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
- Beale Street (with Beverly G. Bond), Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
- “‘The Vice Admiral’: Margaret Chase Smith and the Investigation of Congested Areas
in Wartime” in The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society, Kenneth P. O’Brien and Lynn Parsons, eds., Greenwood Press, 1995, pp. 119-137.
- “‘Senator-at-Large for America’s Women’: Margaret Chase Smith and the Paradox of Gender
Affinity” in The Impact of Women in Public Office, Susan Carroll, ed. Indiana University Press, 2001, pp. 89-116.
- “Naval Affairs: The Wartime Activities of Margaret Chase Smith,” in The Human Tradition in the World War II Era, Malcolm Muir, Jr., ed. Scholarly Resources, 2000, pp. 121-138.
(Personal Web site has reviews and illustrations of book covers.)