Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (foks jehn-uh-VEES-ee), a pioneer in women’s studies and the history of America’s South, is considered by many critics to have been one of the most important historical/feminist writers of the postmodern era. Fox-Genovese’s work helped create a realistic social and historical consciousness that had, until the early 1950’s, been defined in part by romantic idealism. In her many articles, editorials, and books, Fox-Genovese reexamined America’s past and in so doing strove to create a socially aware and historically accurate present.
Fox-Genovese was the daughter of Edward Whiting, a history professor, and Elizabeth Simon Fox. In 1963 she graduated from Bryn Mawr College, and she received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974. During her studies, in 1969, she met and married Eugene Dominick Genovese, with whom she shared an interest in French physiocracy and Southern history; they subsequently coauthored a number of texts.
After leaving Harvard University, Fox-Genovese accepted an assistant professorship at Rochester University in 1973, where she remained until 1980. During this time she received several grants and fellowships, including one from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1980 she was named director d’études associe, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and became professor of history at New York University at Binghamton. She left her position six years later to join her husband at Emory University. There Fox-Genovese was instrumental in the formation of the Institute for Women’s Studies, a department she chaired until 1992. It was in this field that Fox-Genovese was most active, consulting for such internationally recognized boards as the...
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