Dr. Kathleen Canning joined the faculty of Rice University January 1, 2018, as the Dean of the School of Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History. She comes to Rice from the University of Michigan where she was the chair of the Department of History, the largest History department in the United States and ranked in the top seven university history departments in the nation over the last decade. During her tenure at the University of Michigan (1988-2017), Dr. Canning served as the Sonya O. Rose Collegiate Professor of History and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History, Women’s Studies, and German.
In addition to serving as chair of University of Michigan’s History Department, Dr. Canning was the founding director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies and the Center for European Studies. Under her leadership, the Department of History at the University of Michigan participated in a Mellon Foundation funded project at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School on “The Humanities Ph.D. for the 21st Century,” which aimed to prepare graduate students for a wide range of careers.
Educational Background: As an undergraduate Dr. Canning studied at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Oregon, where she received her B.A. in history. She won a Fulbright fellowship for study in Germany after graduation and went on to complete her M.A. in history, with minors in sociology and political science, at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany in 1983. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1988. Dr. Canning’s major field of scholarly research is modern German and European history with an emphasis on the history of citizenship, gender and family, state, social welfare, and labor in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Scholarship: Kathleen Canning is author of number of books, edited collections, articles, book chapters, and reviews. Her published books include Weimar Subjects/Weimar Publics, co-edited with Kerstin Barndt and Kristen McGuire (Berghahn Books, 2010); Gender History in Practice: Historical Perspectives on Body, Class and Citizenship (Cornell University Press, 2006); Gender, Citizenships, and Subjectivities, co-edited with Sonya O. Rose (Blackwell Publishers, 2002); and Languages of Labor and Gender (Cornell University Press, 1996/paperback edition University of Michigan Press, 2002). Her current book project is entitled “Citizenship Effects: Gender and Sexual Crisis in the Aftermath of War and Revolution in Germany, 1914-1930,” and examines the history of citizenship, gender, and sexuality in Germany during the First World War and the Weimar Republic. She won the article prize of the Conference Group for Central European History, American Historical Association (1996) for “Feminist History after the ‘Linguistic Turn:’ Historicizing Discourse and Experience,” Signs 19/2 (Winter 1994): 368-404 and the book prize of the Conference Group for Central European History for her first book, Languages of Labor and Gender (Cornell, 1996).
Dr. Canning has held fellowships from a number of international and national institutions for her research, including the Helmut F. Stern Fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities (2012-13); a senior fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Freiburg, Germany; and a University of Michigan Humanities Award (2009-10). She also received fellowship awards from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (1998-9); the National Endowment for the Humanities (1996-97); the Stanford University Humanities Center; and the American Council for Learned Societies (1991-92).
Teaching: In 2009, Dr. Canning was spotlighted in Newsweek’s “College Guide,” as one of the nation’s “Four Great Professors.” She received the University of Michigan’s John D’Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities (1999). She has served as doctoral advisor for 27 dissertations and as a member of over 50 dissertation committees in several disciplines. In 1995 she was awarded the University of Michigan’s Matthews Underclass Teaching Award; her Thurnau Professorship (awarded in 1996) also recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Contributions to the Profession: Since 2011 Dr. Canning has served as series editor for a major book series, Social History, Popular Culture and Politics, published by the University of Michigan Press. She was North American co-editor of the international journal, Gender & History (1998-2003) and a member of the Board of Editors of Central European History (2003-2014); the Journal of Modern History (2009-2012); and the American Historical Review (2004-2007). She is currently on the Board of Editors of L’homme (2012-present). She served on the Executive Board of the German Studies Association (2010-13) and has also been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Excellence Research Cluster, “The Formation of Normative Orders,” Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2014-2017).