Judith Walkowitz

Professor of Modern European Cultural and Social History

John Hopkins University

Judith Walkowitz is a British historian whose publications have been translated into many European languages, plus Japanese. She teaches British history and women’s history at Johns Hopkins University. For the past thirty years, her research and writing have concentrated on nineteenth-century political culture and the cultural and social contests over sexuality. Her  first book, Prostitution and Victorian Society (1980), examined the system of medical and police regulation of prostitution, a system first established in 1864 and abolished in 1886, to control the spread of venereal disease among enlisted men.  City of Dreadful Delight (1992) maps out a dense cultural grid through which compelling representations of sexual danger, including W.T. Stead's expose of child prostitution and the tabloid reporting of Jack the Ripper, circulated in late-Victorian London. Her new book, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London extends her interest in the cultural and social history of London to mid-twentieth century.

She has been an energetic impresario for innovative approaches to historical scholarship, as well as a promoter of the interest of female scholars within the historical profession. She was a founding history editor of Feminist Studies, and over the years she has served as member of numerous program committees of the Berkshire Conference, chaired the AHA committee on women, and served as President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians from 1987-1990.  During the eighteen years that she taught at Rutgers University (1971-1989), she helped to develop the Rutgers graduate program in women's history into one of the premiere programs in the country. As professor of history at Johns Hopkins University (1989-1997), she continues to collaborate with other colleagues in promoting intellectual exchange across disciplines.