The University of Iowa

Linda K. Kerber

May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Professor of History Emerita, Lecturer in Law
U.S. Women's History
Legal and Intellectual History
U.S. Early Republic
Office: 
117 Schaeffer Hall
Phone Number: 
(319) 335-2302

Linda K. Kerber is May Brodbeck Professor in Liberal Arts & Sciences. She is Lecturer in the College of Law, where she teaches courses in Gender and Legal History. She received her PhD in history from Columbia University in 1968. In 2006 she served as President of the American Historical Association. During the academic year 2006-07 she was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.
Linda K. Kerber is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as president of the Organization of American Historians in 1996-97, and as president of the American Studies Association in 1988.
In her writing and teaching Linda Kerber has emphasized the history of citizenship, gender, and authority. In the history department she teaches courses in U.S. history with an emphasis on the history of women and gender; feminist theory, and U.S. legal history. Her teaching has been recognized by the Graduate College Special Recognition/ Outstanding Mentor Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts (2001); Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (1993) and by the Honors Program Faculty Award (1996); she conducted a forum on Teaching Constitutional History on the website History Matters.
Linda K. Kerber is the author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (1998) for which she was awarded the Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in U.S. legal history and the Joan Kelley Prize for the best book in women's history (both awarded by the American Historical Association). Among her other books are Toward an Intellectual History of Women (1997), Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1980), and Federalists in Dissent: Imagery and Ideology in Jeffersonian America (1970). She is co-editor of U.S. History As Women's History, and of the widely used anthology, Women's America: Refocusing the Past (6th edition, 2004), which has been translated into Japanese.
She has served on many editorial boards and as historical advisor to several museum exhibitions; she is currently on the board of the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia. She is an advisory editor to the "Gender and American Culture" series of the University of North Carolina Press, on the editorial board of Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She recently served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and - following her interest in strengthening academic exchange between the United States and Japan - has recently completed a five year term as a member of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission/CULCON, a federal agency.

Teaching: 

Professor Kerber's previously taught courses include:

  • 16:270/131:270, Readings in History of Women and Gender in the USA
  • 16:284/131:284, Seminar in the History of Women and Gender
  • 16A:172/131:172, Women in America, 1870-Present
  • 16A:175/91:252, Family, Gender and Constitutional History [College of Law]
Awards & Service: 
  • Harmsworth Professor of American History, Oxford University (2006-07)
  • President, American Historical Association (2006)
  • Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa (2003-2006)
  • Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Spring, 2004)
  • Graduate College Special Recognition/Outstanding Mentor Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts (2001)
  • Radcliffe College Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the field of Women, Gender and Society (1999)
  • Joan Kelly Memorial Prize, American Historical Association, best book in women's history and feminist theory (1999)
  • Littleton-Griswold Prize, American Historical Association, best book on the history of American law and society (1999)
  • President, Organization of American Historians (1996-97)
  • Honors Program Faculty Award, University of Iowa (1996)
  • Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, University of Iowa (1993)
  • Residency, Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Villa Serbelloni, Rockefeller Foundation (Summer 1991)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1990-1991)
  • National Humanities Center Fellow (1990-1991)
  • President, American Studies Association (1988)
  • Senior Scholar in Residence, Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania (Fall 1987)
  • Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities (1976, 1983-1984, 1994)
  • Faculty Research Fellowship, University of Iowa (Spring 1982, 1987)
  • American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-aid (1975)
  • American Bar Foundation Grant-in-aid (1975)
  • American Philosophical Society Grant-in-aid, Penrose Fund (1971)
  • Kent Fellow, Danforth Foundation (1966-1968)
  • Alumnae Fellow, Barnard College(1964-1965)