Vanessa May.

 

Vanessa May, Ph.D.
Associate Professor; Co-Director, Women and Gender Studies Program
Department of History

(973) 761-9447
Email

Fahy Hall
Room 335

Vanessa May, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Women and Gender Studies Program
Department of History

I am interested in the history of women and gender in the United States. My book examines the public debate over domestic service in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I explain how and why domestics, the largest category of women workers before 1940, did not win protective labor legislation until 1974. In contrast, women industrial workers benefited from this legislation as early as 1908. I investigate the debate over domestic service from both sides of the class divide, assessing middle-class women’s reform programs as well as domestics’ efforts to determine their own working conditions. I argue that working-class women sought to define the middle-class home as a workplace even as employers and reformers strictly regarded the home as private space.