Through the 1960s, the faculty in most disciplines across the academy remained overwhelmingly male (indeed, white, male, and Protestant). Women and African American historians had worked professionally for decades, but as a rule they did so at women’s colleges, teaching colleges, or outside the academy.
The UW’s History faculty was entirely male until American economic historian Diane Lindstrom was hired as an assistant professor in 1971, joined by European economic historian Maureen Mazzaoui in 1973. By 1980, three of History’s fifty-eight faculty were women; by 1990, nine of fifty-nine were women.
In 1975 Judith W. Leavitt joined the History of Medicine Department as historian of American public health in 1975. With a joint appointment in History of Science, she was the first female member in both departments.
Today the majority of the History Department’s 55 faculty members are women.
On women in the discipline of History in the U.S., see Robert B. Townsend, “What the Data Reveals About Women Historians,” AHA Perspectives, May 1, 2020.
Sources: UW Course Catalog 1980-1982, 68, and 1990-1992, 84; Victor L. Hilts, “History of Science at the University of Wisconsin,” Isis 75 (March 1984): 90-91. See also The History of Women at the University of Wisconsin.