Dr. Melanie Gustafson is a political and social historian of nineteenth and twentieth century America. Her research focuses on how women’s struggle for political inclusion and changing meanings of gender influenced the ideas and structures that shape democratic citizenship. Her first book, Women and the Republican Party, 1854-1924, was a pioneering investigation into how women advocating for the right to vote and hold political office navigated the complexities of partisan politics. She is the co-author of We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960 and (with UVM colleague Mark Stoler) Major Problems in the History of World War II: Documents and Essays. She has written articles about the dilemmas of nineteenth-century women who encountered public scrutiny for their life choices. These studies highlight how many Americans saw women’s economic, social, and geographic mobility as fascinating, and problematic.
Digital technologies has allowed Dr. Gustafson to experiment with ways of organizing and presenting her research findings and it has enabled her to bring her students’ research to a wider audience. Her students’ Omeka exhibits on the writer Frances Parkinson Keyes and politician Consuelo Northrop Bailey were published in partnership with the UVM Center for Teaching and Learning. You can view them at http://badger.uvm.edu/omeka/.
Dr. Gustafson has served as President of the New England Historical Association, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, on the Vermont Advisory Committee of the United States Civil Rights Commission, and in various capacities for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association. Dr. Gustafson is currently the vice-president of Clio Visualizing History, which created the digital history exhibits Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution and Visualizing Votes for Women: Nineteen Objects from the 19th Amendment Campaign. These can be viewed at https://www.cliohistory.org/.