The Arch Dalrymple III Department of History is delighted to welcome Eva Payne to Oxford. Professor Payne was hired as an Assistant Professor of History with a focus on Gender and Sexuality in the Spring of 2017 and joins us this fall after completing her term as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Professor Payne holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and graduate degrees from Harvard University. Her work examines women, gender, and sexuality and the U.S. in transnational perspective.
Her current book project, To Purify the World: Americans and International Sexual Reform, 1865-1933, asks how and why many American reformers came to see sexual issues as the central humanitarian and political problems of their day. It tracks the movement for sexual reform from its origins, among American abolitionists and missionaries who became concerned with state-regulated prostitution in the British Empire, through to the movement’s denouement in the activities of Americans who traveled the globe after the First World War to investigate sex trafficking for the League of Nations. As American social reformers participated in debates over prostitution, the legal age of consent, venereal disease, and sex trafficking, they wove together religious, medical, racial, and legal discourses in ways that placed sexual matters at the heart of international politics.
Professor Payne is also engaged in a number of public history projects. She has worked on exhibitions of art and historical objects at museums and galleries, including the Harvard Art Museum and the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.
During the fall semester, Professor Payne is teaching one graduate course, HST 614: Readings in U.S. Women’s and Gender History.