Women's History Month lecture: Nationally known expert on the history of marriage to speak at St. Thomas March 7

Women’s History Month lecture:

Nationally known expert on the history of marriage to speak at St. Thomas March 7

Dr. Stephanie Coontz, a nationally known expert on the history of marriage, will deliver the 14th annual Luann Dummer Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium at the University of St. Thomas.

Coontz, who says marriage has changed more in the past 35 years than in the preceding 35 centuries, will explore the history of the institution of marriage in order to understand current trends in marriage, cohabitation and divorce. Her lecture, “Courting Disaster? The Past and Future of Marriage,” is free and open to the public. A reception follows.

Coontz is the author of Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005), selected as one of the best books of 2005 by the Washington Post. Her other books include The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trip (Basic Books, 1992 and 2000), The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America’s Changing Families (Basic Books, 1997), and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families (Verso, 1988).

Her work has been translated into French, German, Japanese, Norwegian and Spanish, and she has appeared on “The Today Show,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “CBS This Morning” and in several prime-time television documentaries. Her research also has been featured in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and The Times of London, among others, and in academic journals such as the Journal of Marriage and Family. 

She has received awards from the Council on Contemporary Families, the Illinois Council on Family Relations and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also is a contributing editor for Ladies Home Journal and serves on editorial boards of the Journal of Family History and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies.

Since 1975 Coontz has taught history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia , Wash. She also is director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, which she chaired from 2001 to 2004. The council, founded in 1996, is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to enhancing the national conversation about what contemporary families need and how these needs can best be met.”

St. Thomas’ annual Women's History Month lecture is named for the late Dr. Luann Dummer, a St. Thomas English professor whose 1992 estate provided approximately $1 million for the creation of a women's center at St. Thomas and an endowment for its programs, including the annual lecture series.

For further information about Coontz’s visit, contact UST's Luann Dummer Center for Women, (651) 962-6119.