Alison Lefkovitz

LefkovitzBUSINESS SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES: Law, Gender and Political Economy
Assistant Professor of History


In addition to joining NJIT as an assistant professor in the Federated Department of History, Alison Lefkovitz is director of the bachelor’s program in Law, Technology and Culture. She received her PhD in American history from the University of Chicago in 2010 and comes to NJIT from Miami University in Ohio. Lefkovitz completed a bachelor’s in history and English at Indiana University and a master’s in American history at the University of Chicago. Prior to graduate school, she had a variety of administrative responsibilities at the Journal of American History.

Lefkovitz’s book manuscript, The Politics of Marriage in the Era of Women's Liberation, uses “new legal history” methodologies to examine legal, political, and cultural challenges to marriage from the establishment of President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women until the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment. It argues that the battle to unravel marriage’s economic and social mandates revolutionized the gendered order as significantly as the much more familiar struggle for workplace equality. The subsequent backlash brought factions of the new conservative movement together in ways the current literature has not yet acknowledged.

Lefkovitz’s broader interests are in law, gender, and political economy. Her approach to these themes is previewed in “Men in the House: Race, Welfare, and the Regulation of Men's Sexuality in the United States, 1961-1972,” which appeared in the September 2011 issue of The Journal of the History of Sexuality. She posits that lawmakers increasingly regulated the sexual activity of working-class black men to counteract women’s newly-won welfare rights.

As director of the History of Women Project at the University of Chicago, Lefkovitz helped develop this project into a fund-raising initiative, produced a preview CD of the oral histories to distribute, and developed a plan for a large-scale exhibit.

Lefkovitz has received a wide array of academic honors and awards, including the Miami University Outstanding Professor Award, 2011-2012, and the James C. Hormel Dissertation Fellowship in Lesbian and Gay Studies, 2008- 2009. She was a 2012 Hurst Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Numerous scholarly papers and conference presentations also highlight the scope of Lefkovitz’s insightful examination of legal and gender issues. Topics include “Passing Down the Aisle: Gay Marriage through Subterfuge in the 1970s,” the Politics of Homemaking: Gender, Citizenship, and Democracy in Post WWII America,” “Housewives for ERA: The Illinois Equal Rights Amendment and the Problem of Dependency, 1972-1978,” “Bringing Home the Bacon or Bringing Up the Baby: The Equal Rights Amendment and the Demand for Choice, 1972-1982,” and “The Feminine Side of the Selective Service: War, Marriage and Citizenship during World War II.”