Bio


Estelle Freedman has taught at Stanford since 1976. She is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History and co-founder of the undergraduate Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her teaching has been recognized by the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, and the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, as well as the Nancy Roelker Graduate Mentorship Award from the American Historical Association. She is the recipient of multiple national fellowships and has written ten books on the histories of feminism, sexuality, prison reform, and sexual violence.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, History

Administrative Appointments


  • Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University, Department of History (2002 - Present)
  • President’s Advisory Board, Stanford University (1999 - 2001)
  • Director, Program in Feminist Studies, 1980-81, 1984-5, 1994-98, 1999-2001 (1980 - 2001)

Honors & Awards


  • Darlene Clark Hine Award, Organization of American Historians (2014)
  • Emily Toth Award, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (2014)
  • Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians (2014)
  • John Boswell Prize, Committee on LGBT History, American Historical Association (2013)
  • Millicent McIntosh Award for Feminism, Barnard College (2009)
  • Kahn-Van Slyke Graduate Mentorship Award, History Department, Stanford University (2005)
  • Nancy Lyman Roelker (Graduate) Mentorship Award, American Historical Association (1998)
  • Lillian and Thomas B. Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford (1997)
  • Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians (1996)
  • Class Day Speaker, Stanford University (June 1992)
  • Fellow, Society of American Historians (1990)
  • Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians (1982)
  • Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (1981)
  • Alice and Edith Hamilton Prize for best scholarly manuscript on women, University of Michigan (1978)
  • Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Stanford University (1978)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2011-2012)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavior Sciences (2009-2010, 2018-2019)
  • Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (2009-2010)
  • Internal Faculty Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center (2004-2005)
  • Associates’ Faculty Research Fellowship, Stanford Institute for Research on Women and Gender (1996)
  • Fellowship for University Teachers, National Endowment for the Humanities (1992-1993)
  • Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (Spring 1993)
  • Founders Fellowship, American Association of University Women (1985-1986)
  • Faculty Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center (1985-1986)
  • Pew Foundation Faculty Research Grant, Stanford University (1984-1985)
  • Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, National Endowment for the Humanities (1982-1983)
  • Fellowship, Family and Community History Summer Training Institute, Newberry Library (1974)
  • Fellowships, Columbia University (1971-1974)
  • Notable Book, New York Times Book Review (1988)
  • Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine (2002)
  • Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies (honorary), The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (1974-1975)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Chair, John D'Emilio Dissertation Prize Committee, Organization of American Historians (2016 - 2017)
  • Historical Conversations co-coordinator, Department of History (2014 - 2016)
  • Faculty Fellow, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, (2015 - 2016)
  • Co-convener, Gender/Women’s History Workshop, Department of History, Stanford University (1992 - Present)
  • Member, Gita Chaudhuri Prize Committee, Western Association of Women Historians (2014 - 2017)
  • Chair, Prize Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (2013 - 2014)
  • Department Workshop Planning Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (2008 - 2009)
  • Chair, Departmental Graduate Admissions, Department of History, Stanford University (2002 - 2004)
  • Chair, Departmental Graduate Admissions, Department of History, Stanford University (2005 - 2009)
  • Member, Departmental Policy Committee (elected), Department of History, Stanford University (1989 - 1990)
  • Member, Departmental Policy Committee (elected), Department of History, Stanford University (1993 - 1994)
  • Member, Departmental Policy Committee (elected), Department of History, Stanford University (2006 - 2009)
  • Member, Graduate Studies Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1976 - 1979)
  • Member, Graduate Studies Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1993 - 1998)
  • Member, Undergraduate Studies Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Member, Undergraduate Studies Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1992 - 1993)
  • Member, Affirmative Action Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1976 - 1985)
  • Member, Affirmative Action Committee, Department of History, Stanford University (1984 - 1985)
  • Chair, Boswell and Nestle Prizes, Committee on LGBT History, AHA (2014 - 2014)
  • Member, Nominating Committee, Organization of American Historians (1991 - 1993)
  • Co-Chair, Program Committee for 1999 Annual Meeting, Organization of American Historians (1999 - 1999)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee on the Annual Meeting, Organization of American Historians (2003 - 2004)
  • Member, Binkley-Stephenson Award Committee, Organization of American Historians (2005 - 2008)
  • Member, Program Committee, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association (1988 - 1988)
  • Member, Roelker Award Committee, American Historical Association (2004 - 2007)
  • Member, Coordinating Committee on Women in History
  • Member, Academic Advisory Council, Jewish Women’s Archives
  • Conference Coordinator, Western Association of Women Historians (1978 - 1979)
  • Member, Program Committee, Western Association of Women Historians (1980 - 1981)
  • Past Associate Editor, Signs (1980 - 1985)
  • Past Associate Editor, Journal of Women in Culture and Society (1980 - 1985)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, Feminist Studies (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, Gender and History (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, NWSA Journal (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, Journal of Women’s History (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Sex Research (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Homosexuality (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Lesbian Studies (1985 - 1990)
  • Past Editorial Board Member, Journal of the History of Sexuality (1985 - 1990)
  • Member, Scholars Selection Committee, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)
  • Member (elected), President’s Advisory Board, Stanford University (1999 - 2001)
  • Member, Faculty Women’s Caucus Steering Committee, Stanford University (1997 - 1998)
  • Co-Convener, Stanford Humanities Center Faculty-Graduate Student Workshop on Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Studies, Stanford University (1999 - 2000)
  • Co-Convener, Stanford Humanities Center Faculty-Graduate Student Workshop on Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Studies, Stanford University (1997 - 1998)
  • Member, program committee, Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University (1980 - 1985)
  • Member, program committee, Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University (1988 - 1990)
  • Member, Program Committee, Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University (1993 - 1994)
  • Member, program committee, Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University (2001 - 2010)
  • Coordinator, Faculty Seminar on Feminist Theory, Stanford University (1980 - 1981)
  • Coordinator, Faculty Seminar on Feminist Theory, Stanford University (1987 - 1988)
  • Coordinator, Faculty Seminar on Feminist Theory, Stanford University (1984 - 1985)
  • Coordinator, Faculty Seminar on Feminist Theory, Stanford University (1994 - 2001)
  • Coordinator, Selection, Committee, Graduate Women’s Network, Stanford University (1994 - 1995)
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Stanford Women’s Center, Stanford University (1991 - 1992)
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Stanford Women’s Center, Stanford University (2002 - Present)
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Gender Studies Focus House, Stanford University (1989 - 1990)
  • Member, Task Force on the Study of Women at Stanford, Stanford University (1979 - 1979)
  • Member, Policy Board, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Stanford University (1977 - 1979)
  • Chair, Scholar Selection Committee, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Stanford University (1977 - 1979)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Stanford University (1980 - Present)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Simone de Beauvoir House, Stanford University (1977 - 1978)
  • Chair, Program Review Committee for Individually Designed Majors, Stanford University (1993 - 1994)
  • Faculty course sponsor, Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues/Innovative Academic Courses, Stanford University (1986 - 1987)
  • Member, Course Selection Committee, Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues/Innovative Academic Courses, Stanford University (1986 - 1987)
  • Stanford Board member, American Association of University Professors (1986 - 1988)
  • Member, Advisory committee, Jewish Studies Program, Stanford University (1987 - 1989)
  • Member, Advisory committee, Jewish Studies Program, Stanford University (1994 - 1999)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Gay and Lesbian Alliance at Stanford, Stanford University (1987 - 1988)
  • Member, Asian American Studies Search Committee, Stanford University (1989 - 1990)
  • Chair, Individually Designed Majors Committee, Stanford University (1988 - 1990)
  • Member, American Studies Committee, Stanford University (1976 - 1982)
  • Member, American Studies Committee, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Member, Professional Journalism Fellows Selection Committee, Stanford University (1978 - 1990)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Stanford Center for Chicano Research, Stanford University (1980 - 1982)
  • Member, Modern Thought and Literature Committee, Stanford University (1976 - 1978)

Program Affiliations


  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • Ph.D, Columbia University, History (1976)
  • M.A, Columbia University, History (1972)
  • B.A, Barnard College, History (1969)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


I continue to work on the history sexual violence, including the use of oral history testimony. I am currently co-producing an historical documentary film "Singing for Justice: Faith Petric and the Folk Process."

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Ashley Walters
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Theresa Iker
  • Orals Evaluator
    Theresa Iker, Ashley Walters, Carolyn Zola
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Justine Modica

All Publications


  • The prison lesbian: Race, class, and the construction of the aggressive female homosexual, 1915-1965 FEMINIST STUDIES Freedman, E. B. 1996; 22 (2): 397-423
  • Small Group Pedagogy: Consciousness Raising in Conservative Times NWSA Journal Freedman, E. 1990; 2 (4)
  • UNCONTROLLED DESIRES - THE RESPONSE TO THE SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH, 1920-1960 JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY Freedman, E. B. 1987; 74 (1): 83-106

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987H877800004

    View details for PubMedID 11617250

  • Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870-1930 Feminist Studies 5 Freedman, E. 1979: 512-529
  • Comment, “Intimate Matters Roundtable," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies Freedman, E. 2014; 35 (1): 41-42
  • SINCE INTIMATE MATTERS Recent Developments in the History of Sexuality in the United States JOURNAL OF WOMENS HISTORY D'Emilio, J., Freedman, E. B. 2013; 25 (4): 88-100
  • Redefining Rape The Chronicle Review Freedman, E. 2013
  • Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America Freedman, E., D'Emillio, J. University of Chicago Press. 2012
  • Documenting Intimate Matters: Primary Sources for the a History of Sexuality in America D’Emilio, J., Freedman, E. edited by D’Emilio, J., Foster, T. A. University of Chicago Press. 2012
  • Women’s Long Battle to Define Rape Washington Post Opinions Freedman, E. 2012
  • "Crimes which startle and horrify": Gender, Age, and the Racialization of Sexual Violence in White American Newspapers, 1870-1900 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY Freedman, E. B. 2011; 20 (3): 465-497

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296213900003

    View details for PubMedID 22175098

  • Allan Bérubé and The Power of Community History (introduction) My Desire for History: Essays on Gay, Community, and Labor History Freedman, E., D'Emilio, J. 2011: 1–37
  • Miscegenation and Race A Roundtable on Peggy Pascoe's What Comes Naturally Introduction FRONTIERS-A JOURNAL OF WOMEN STUDIES Freedman, E. B. 2010; 31 (3): 1-5
  • Tribute to Peggy Pascoe Pacific Historical Review Freedman, E. 2010
  • Foreword 20th Anniversary edition of Allan Bérubé Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II D'Emilio, J., Freedman, E. University of North Carolina Press. 2010
  • Coming of Age at Barnard, 1968 The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture Freedman, E. 2008; 1 (2): 209-222
  • No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women Frontiers of Gender Journal Freedman, E. 2005: 29-37
  • Miriam Van Waters and Katherine Bement Davis Encyclopedia of American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History and Culture edited by Stein, M. Charles Scribner’s Sons. 2005
  • Beyond the Waves: Rethinking the History of Feminisms Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Reader in Women’s Studies edited by Berkin, C., Appel, C. Prentice Hall. 2005
  • No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women Freedman, E. Akashi Shoten. 2005
  • Elvira Virginia Mugarrieta Latinas in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia Freedman, E. edited by Korrol, V. S., Ruiz, V. L. Indiana University Press. 2005
  • Miriam Van Waters Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities edited by Bosworth, M. Sage Publications. 2005
  • Boston Marriage, Free Love, and Fictive Kin: Historical Alternatives to Mainstream Marriage OAH Newsletter Freedman, E. 2004; 32 (3): 1, 16
  • Reflections on Graduate Mentoring CCWH Newsletter Freedman, E. 2004; 43 (3): 2
  • The Burning of Letters Continues’: Elusive Identities and the Historical Construction of Sexuality Modern American Queer History edited by Black, A. M. Phila: Temple University Press. 2001
  • 'The-burning-of-letters-continues': Elusive identities and the historical construction of sexuality JOURNAL OF WOMENS HISTORY Freedman, E. B. 1998; 9 (4): 181-200
  • The Trials of Miriam Van Waters Forgotten Heroes of America’s Past edited by Ware, S. Free Press. 1998
  • The Prison Lesbian: Race, Class, and the Construction of the Aggressive Female Homosexual, 1915-1965 Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History Freedman, E. edited by Hodes, M. N.Y.U. Press. 1998
  • Sexuality Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History Freedman, E. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1997
  • The History of the Family and the History of Sexuality The New American History edited by Foner, E. Temple University Press. 1997
  • The Social Construction of Homosexuality Socialist Review Freedman, E. 1996
  • Miriam Van Waters Encyclopedia of the American West Freedman, E. N.Y.: Macmillan. 1996
  • Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism American Women in Struggle Freedman, E. edited by Hartman, H., Clare, M. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1995
  • Social Science or Social Service? Miriam Van Waters and the Dilemmas of Graduate Education for Women in the Progressive Era New Viewpoints in Women’s History: Working Papers from the Schlesinger Library 50th Anniversary Conference Freedman, E. edited by Ware, S. 1994
  • Small Group Pedagogy: Consciousness Raising in Conservative Times Tilting the Tower Freedman, E. edited by Garber, L. N.Y.: Routledge. 1994
  • THE MANIPULATION OF HISTORY AT THE THOMAS,CLARENCE HEARINGS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW Freedman, E. B. 1992; 65 (3): 1361-1365
  • The Manipulation of History at the Clarence Thomas Hearings Southern California Law Review Freedman, E. 1992; 65 (3)
  • PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED IN WRITING THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY - SOURCES, THEORY AND INTERPRETATION JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH Freedman, E. B., DEMILIO, J. 1990; 27 (4): 481-495
  • HISTORICAL INTERPRETATION AND LEGAL ADVOCACY, RETHINKING THE WEBSTER-AMICUS BRIEF PUBLIC HISTORIAN Freedman, E. B. 1990; 12 (3): 27-32
  • THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SEXUAL DIFFERENCE - AN OVERVIEW CONF ON THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SEXUAL DIFFERENCE Freedman, E. B. YALE UNIV PRESS. 1990: 257–261
  • Dialogue of the Sexual Revolutions: A Conversation with John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution Mass, L. D., Freedman, E. New York: Haworth Press. 1990; II
  • Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870-1930 Major Problems in American Women’s History Freedman, E. edited by Norton, M. B. Lexington, Ma.: D. C. Heath. 1989
  • Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870-1930 U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal Freedman, E. 1988
  • Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America Freedman, E., D'Emillio, J. New York: Harper and Row. 1988
  • The New Woman: Changing Views of Women in the 1920s Decades of Discontent Scharf, L., Freedman, E. B. edited by Jensen, J. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. 1987
  • Women’s Networks and Women’s Loyalties: Reflections on a Tenure Case Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies Freedman, E. 1986; VII (3)
  • The Lesbian Issue: Essays from Signs Freedman, E. edited by Freedman, E., Gelphi, Johnson, Weston Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1985
  • SENTIMENT AND DISCIPLINE - WOMENS PRISON EXPERIENCES IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA PROLOGUE-QUARTERLY OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES Freedman, E. B. 1984; 16 (4): 248-259
  • Introduction to “The Sexuality Debates” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society Thorne, B., Freedman, E. 1984
  • Sentiment and Discipline: Women’s Prison Experiences in Nineteenth Century America Prologue: Journal of the National Archives Freedman, E. 1984
  • The New Woman: Changing Views of Women in the 1920s Decades of Discontent Freedman, E. B. edited by Jensen, J., Scharf, L. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. 1983
  • SEXUALITY IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA - BEHAVIOR, IDEOLOGY, AND POLITICS REVIEWS IN AMERICAN HISTORY Freedman, E. B. 1982; 10 (4): 196-215
  • Resources for Lesbian History Lesbian Studies Freedman, E. edited by Cruickshank, M. Old Westbury, New York: The Feminist Press. 1982
  • The Legacy of Women’s Prison Reform Women and the Law: A Social Historical Perspective Freedman, E. edited by Weisberg, K. D. Cambridge: Schenkman. 1982
  • The Adult Woman: Personal Life Victorian Women: A Documentary Account Freedman, E., Hellerstein, E. 1981
  • Mary Bartelme Notable American Women: The Modern Period. A Biographical Dictionary Freedman, E. edited by Sicherman, B., Green, C. H. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1980
  • The New Woman: Changing Views of Women in the 1920's American Vistas, third ed. Freedman, E. B. edited by Jackson, K. T., Dinnerstein, L. New York: Oxford University Press. 1979
  • American Correctional Association Social Service Organizations Freedman, E. B. edited by Romanofsky, P. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. 1978
  • “Emily Newell Blair,” and “Lena Madesin Phillips,” Dictionary of American Biography Freedman, E. B. edited by Garraty, J. New York: Charles Scribners. 1977
  • Their Sisters’ Keepers: An Historical Perspective on Female Correctional Institutions in America, 1870-1900 Feminist Studies Freedman, E. B. 1974: 77-95
  • NEW WOMAN - CHANGING VIEWS OF WOMEN IN 1920S JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY Freedman, E. B. 1974; 61 (2): 372-393