In the much-studied abortion struggles of the mid-19th and late-20th centuries, one key element has remained largely unexamined, says De Hart, "the extent to which opposition to abortion is fundamentally linked to the ideology and mythologies of nationalism." De Hart will explore how the politics of abortion and national identity converged in the mid-19th century and again in the late 20th century to illuminate the process by which we as a people establish what it means to be an American.
A specialist in modern American history and a pioneer in the field of U.S. women's history, De Hart was co-winner of the American Political Science Association's Victoria Schuck Prize for the best book on women and politics published in 1990, "Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA: A State and the Nation." She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the 1998-1999 academic year to complete her forthcoming book, "Defining America: Personal Politics and the Politics of National Identity," to be published by the University of Chicago Press.
De Hart joined the UCSB history faculty in 1992. Previously, she was director of women's studies and professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCSB Department of History, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Women's Center, and Women's Studies Program. For more information, the public may call the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at 893-3907.