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Katherine J. Parkin, Ph.D.


Jules Plangere, Jr., Endowed Chair in American Social History

History and Anthropology
Howard Hall 335
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Katherine J. Parkin, Ph.D.

Katherine Parkin, Ph.D. is Professor of History and the Jules Plangere Jr Endowed Chair in American Social History at Monmouth University (New Jersey).  She is the author of Food is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), each of which won the Emily Toth Award for best book in women’s studies and popular culture.  She is also the author of a dozen articles.  Her teaching and research interests include the history of women and gender, sexuality, advertising, and consumerism.  She has been interviewed by magazine and newspaper reporters, as well as for radio programs, including the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR’s Bob Edwards on Sirius-XM, and WHYY’s Marty Moss-Coane in Philadelphia.  She presented her research findings on Alice Ramsey, the first woman to drive across the country, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2018.


Ph.D., Temple University



Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars

(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

Winner of the Emily Toth Award for best book in feminist popular culture, 2018!

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Image shows book cover of Katie Parkin's book Food Is Love

Food is Love: Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America.

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

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Author Interviews

Professor Parkin appeared on Bob Edwards’s NPR show.

You can listen to her interview here:


The Meaning of the Car

Monmouth University history professor Katherine Parkin talks about men, the automobile, and mobility in late twentieth-century American culture. She also discusses how the music of Bruce Springsteen is central to capturing the meaning of the car for both men and women.

Watch the Video

Scholarly Articles

“Sadie Hawkins in American Life, 1937-1957,” Journal of Family History, October 2021.

Marketing Justice: A Christmas Boycott,” History of Retailing and Consumption, online open access July 2020.

“’A Dead Husband Is a Better Ticket to Congress than a Log Cabin’: The Public Discourse of Widows in Office, 1920-1940,” Suffrage at 100: Women in American Politics since 1920, ed. by Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). 

“‘Joy Turned to Sorrow’: Memorializing Stillborn Infants in Howard County, Indiana, 1890-1940,” Journal of Family History, Vol 45(1) (January 2020): 64-87.

“Driving Home Class Status: Women and Car Advertising in the United States,” Advertising & Society Quarterly, June 2019.

Alice Ramsey: Driving in New Directions,New Jersey Studies, July 2018.

Invited article, “Exploring Advertising History in Online Archives,” Advertising & Society Quarterly, 19(1) April 2018.

Adult Adoption and Intergenerational Same-Sex Relationships,”, December 2017.

“’Bring Them Back Alive!’: Fear and the Macabre in US Automobile Tire Advertising,” Advertising & Society Quarterly 18 (1) April 2017: (published by Johns Hopkins University Press, available through Project Muse).

“Glittering Mockery”: Twentieth-Century Leap Year Marriage Proposals,” Journal of Family History 37(1) January 2012: 85-104.

“The Key to the Universe: Springsteen, Masculinity, and the Car,” in Bruce Springsteen and the American Soul: Essays on the Songs and Influence of a Cultural Icon, edited by David Izzo. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2011.

“It’s Up to the Women: House Work and Identity in American Life,” Gender & History 22(2) August 2010: 451-457.

“The Sex of Food and Ernest Dichter: The Illusion of Inevitability.” Advertising & Society Review 5(2) 2004.

“Campbell’s Soup and the Long Shelf Life of Traditional Gender Roles.” Kitchen Culture in America: Representations of Food, Gender, and Race. Ed. Sherrie A. Inness. University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2001.

Presentations/Invited Talks

  • “Alice Ramsey,” Tuesday Colloquium, The Smithsonian, National Museum of American History, May 2018.
  • Invited lecture to the Annual Glass Seminar, “Advertising Pyrex to Women: 100 Years,” at the Corning Glass Museum, Corning, New York, October 16-17, 2015.
  • In December 2005, I was an invited presenter at a symposium in Vienna, Austria, where I presented my paper, “‘The Power of Real, Unadulterated Sex’: Ernest Dichter, Libido, and American Advertising.”


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