Skip to main content

Sonya Michel

Senior Scholar


    September 1, 2011 — April 30, 2016

    Professional affiliation

    Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park

    Full Biography


    M.A. and Ph.D. in American Civilization, Brown University; B.A. in Philosophy, Barnard College


    Fulbright Senior Scholar, Germany, 2009; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow, 2005-6; Shelby Cullom Davis Center Fellowship, Princeton University, 1995-96; Social Politics recognized by Library Journal as one of "10 Best New Journals of 1994"; Fulbright Scholar Abroad, Sweden, 1994; National Academy of Education Spencer Fellow, 1989-90; Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, Fellow, 1989-90.


    Professor of History and Director of the Miller Center for Historical Studies, University of Maryland, College Park; Professor of History and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Urbana-Champaign; founding co-editor of the journal Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society (published by Oxford University Press); member, International Advisory Board for the Nordic Centre of Excellence Project on the Nordic Welfare State: Historical Foundations and Future Challenges; Director, Wilson Center's United States Studies


    History and contemporary analysis of social policy in the United States and in comparative perspective, with a particular emphasis on child care, work-family balance, care work, and old-age security; race and gender issues; immigration; civil society

    Major Publications

    • Civil Society and Gender Justice: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, co-edited with Karen Hagemann and Gunilla Budde (Berghahn Books, 2008)
    • Child Care at the Crossroads: Gender and Welfare State Restructuring, co-edited with Rianne Mahon (Routledge, 2002)
    • Children's Interests / Mothers' Rights: The Shaping of America's Child Care Policy (Yale University Press, 1999)
    • Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of Welfare States, co-edited with Seth Koven (Routledge, 1993)
    • Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars, co-edited with Margaret Higonnet, Jane Jenson and Margaret Weitz (Yale University Press, 1987)
    • The Jewish Woman in America, with Charlotte Baum and Paula Hyman (Dial Press, 1975)

    Previous Terms

    Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center, 2005-2006;
    Director, United States Studies, 2009-2011