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Katherine J. Parkin, Ph.D.


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

On Sabbatical 2019-2020

Photo of Katherine J. Parkin Ph.D.

Ph.D., Temple University

Howard Hall 335
Regularly Taught Courses
US Women's History
History of Sexuality in America
Cultural History of Advertising

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.



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

Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

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Food is love
Food is Love: Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Read More About This Book

Bob Edwards

Professor Parkin appeared on Bob Edwards’s NPR show. You can listen to her interview here: Part 1, Part 2

Food Ad Database Promo

Visit Food Advertisements Through the Decades, a database that includes some of the ads featured in Dr. Parkin’s book Food is Love.

Leap Year Postcard Database Promo
Leap Year Postcard Database

Dr. Parkin has compiled an extensive database that catalogs Leap Year postcards from 1904 through 1920.

In the News

Dr. Parkin’s postcard research and writings were noted in the following articles:

Dr. Parkin was also featured on The Academic Minute radio broadcast on February 29, 2014.

Scholarly Articles

“‘A dead husband is a better ticket to Congress than a Log Cabin’: The Public Discourse of Widows in Office, 1920-1940,” to Suffrage at 100: Women’s Uneven Road in American Politics Since 1920, ed. by Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming 2020).

“‘Joy Turned to Sorrow’: Memorializing Stillborn Infants in Howard County, Indiana, 1890-1940,” Journal of Family History, published online October 2019.

“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.”