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Katherine Parkin, Ph.D.

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

Department: History and Anthropology

Office: James and Marlene Howard Hall 335

Phone: 732-571-4492


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!

Read More About This Book

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

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Read More About This Book

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

Author Interviews

Professor Parkin appeared on the Slate podcast Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade, in the episode titled Get Married or Go Home.

You can listen to her interview here:

Professor Parkin appeared on Bob Edwards’s NPR show.

You can listen to her interview here:

Part 1 Transcript
Part 2 Transcript

Commentary & Perspectives

Screenshot from The Washington Post showing Katherine Parkin's column published on June 27, 2022. Click or tap to read the column online..

In 1970, a woman went to jail for an abortion. Now, it could happen again.

Perspective by Katherine Parkin

Read the column in The Washington Post

Screenshot showing Katherine Parkin's article on the Time magazine website.

Understanding Pregnancy Loss Was Supposed to Improve Health Outcomes—Not Lead to Punishment

Perspective by Katherine Parkin

Read the column in Time Magazine


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

Sarah Elvins and Katherine Parkin, “The Business of Abortion: Referral Services, Cross-Border Consumption, and Canadian Women’s Access to Abortion in New York State, 1970-1972,” Enterprise & Society, 2024.

The Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition & the Abortion Tribunals, 1971-1972,” Journal of Family History, 2022.

“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.”


Recently Taught Classes

2024 Spring

2023 Fall

  • Readings and Research in History – HS 399
  • Research Seminar in History – HS 461
  • U.s. Women’s History – HS 505
  • Women in Us History – HS 305

2023 Summer B

2023 Spring

  • History of Consumerism in America – HS 528

2022 Fall

  • Research Seminar in History – HS 461

2022 Spring

  • Historical Studies – HS 110
  • History of Sexuality in America – HS 529

2021 Fall

2021 Summer A

  • History of Sexuality in America – HS 307

Frequently Taught Classes