Wilson Center Experts

Sonya Michel

Senior Scholar
United States Studies

Gender Equality
U.S. History
Women's History
Human Rights
Women's Rights
Society and Culture
Child Care
Old-age Security
Race and Ethnicity
Urban Studies
U.S. Politics
North America
United States
Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park
Sep 01, 2011
Apr 30, 2016


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

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