Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

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Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (born 1942)[1] is the Sydenham Clark Parsons Professor of American Studies and History, emerita, at Smith College. The daughter of Rabbi David Lefkowitz, Jr., and Leona Atlas Lefkowitz, she was born and educated in Shreveport, Louisiana, graduating from C. E. Byrd High School in 1959. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1963 and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969. A cultural historian of the U.S., her research ranges over a number of areas, including cultural philanthropy, women, higher education, landscape studies, sexuality, sexual representation, censorship, understandings of mental health and illness, intimate life, tourism, and biography. Culture and the City (1974) examined the cultural institutions of Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A series of articles on zoological gardens looked at the changing conceptions of wild animals in relation to humans as expressed in the manner in which the zoo animals were exhibited. Alma Mater (1984) probed the ways in which founders of the Seven Sister Colleges expressed their hopes and fears about women offered the liberal arts in the colleges' buildings and landscapes; the book explored, as well, the lives of female collegians and their female professors as lived within college gates. Campus Life (1987) looked at the history of undergraduate cultures from the 18th century to the present, with attention to college men (and later, women), outsiders, and rebels. The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas, president of Bryn Mawr College and feminist, 1857-1935, appeared in 1984. The designated literary executor of John Brinckerhoff Jackson, she wrote the introductions and edited, Landscape in Sight: J. B. Jackson’s America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997). Rereading Sex (2002), explored sexual representations and the campaign to censor them that led to the landmark Comstock Law of 1873 that barred obscene materials, contraceptive information and devices, and abortion advertisements from the US mails. The Flash Press (2008), co-authored with Patricia Cline Cohen and Timothy Gilfoyle, inquired into the sporting weeklies of New York City in the 1840s. Wild Unrest (2010) focused on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the understanding of mental health and illness in the 19th century, and the writing of "The Yellow Wall-Paper." A Taste for Provence (2016) tells the story of the re-invention of Provence for American travelers from a place of Roman ruins to a new Eden of earthly delights. She is the granddaughter of David Lefkowitz.


  • 1995 Lambda Literary Awards, Lesbian Biography/Autobiography finalist for The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas
  • 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist in history for Rereading Sex
  • 2003 Merle Curti Award (Organization of American Historians) for Rereading Sex
  • 2003 Francis Parkman Prize finalist, for Rereading Sex

Select works[edit]

  • A Taste for Provence, 2016
  • Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of "The Yellow Wallpaper," 2010
  • The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York (with Patricia Cline Cohen and Timothy Gilfoyle), 2007
  • Attitudes toward Sex in Antebellum America, 2006
  • Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America, 2002
  • Landscape in Sight : Looking at America,(with John Brinckerhoff Jackson), 1997
  • Love Across the Color Line, (ed. with Kathy Peiss), 1996
  • The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas, 1994
  • Campus Life : Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present , 1987
  • Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s, 1984
  • Culture and the City : Cultural Philanthropy in Chicago from the 1880s to 1917, 1974

See also[edit]


External links[edit]