Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Jan Dawson, Ph.D

Professor of History Emeritus and Brown Distinguished Teaching Professor

AB, University of California at Berkeley
MA, PhD, University of Washington

Dr. Dawson has researched many areas of U. S. history including southern history, US women's history, environmental history, intellectual history, and twentieth century history to name just a few. Her most recent research, "'Healing the Earth': History of an Ecological Metaphor in the American Southwest," is an exploration of the ways in which contemporary political and social metaphors relate to traditional understandings of healing. Dr. Dawson has also recently presented research on American women and nature, Flannery O'Connor, Sacagawea, Native American religion, and the development of Women's Studies programs.

Dawson is the author of The Unusable Past: America's Puritan Tradition, 1830-1930 (1984), "Lady Lookouts' in a 'Man's World': A Reconsideration of American Women and Nature" (Journal of Women's History, Fall 1996); "Landmarks of Home in the Pacific Northwest" (Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment, Winter 1996); "Developing a Model Program: The Women's Studies Curriculum at University" (Furman Studies, June 1994); "Flannery O'Connor's 'Sisters'" (Southern Studies, Summer 1993); "Sacagawea: Pilot or Pioneer Mother?" (Pacific Northwest Quarterly, January 1992); "The Religion of Democracy in Early Twentieth Century America" (Journal of Church and State, Winter 1985); "Puritanism in American Thought and Society" (New England Quarterly, December 1980); "The Puritan and the Cavalier: The South's Perception of Contrasting Traditions" (Journal of Southern History, November 1978).

Dawson has also presented papers at the National Women's Studies Association (1998- "'And the Beat Goes On': Before and After. The Difference Tenure Makes"); Associated Colleges of the South Women's Studies Conference: Feminism Embracing Diversity (1995- "White Women's Constructions of Native American Religion in the Pacific Northwest"); South Central Women's Studies Association (1994- "Teaching Introductory Women's Studies to Upper Middle Class White Traditional-Age Students"); Associated Colleges of the South Conference: Women's Studies in the 1990s (1993- "Climate on Campus for ACS Women Students" and "Building a Model Program"); Southwestern Social Science Association (1989- Chair and discussant, "Roundtable on Donald Meyer's Sex and Power); Southern Historical Association (1986- "Flannery O'Connor's 'Sisters'"); Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association (1984- Commentator, "Urban Conflict and Community on the West Coast"); American Studies Association of Texas (1982- "A Religion of Democracy"); Organization of American Historians (1979- "The American Character, the Puritan Tradition, and Literary Criticism at the End of the Nineteenth Century).

Dawson is also the author of numerous reviews and serves on many University councils and committees including serving as Chair of the History Department from 1985-1991 and Chair of the Women's Studies Program from 1993-1996.