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Department ofHistory

Nancy Unger

Nancy Unger holding award
Nancy C. Unger



Ph.D. University of Southern California, 1985
M.A. University of Southern California, 1981
B.A. Gonzaga University, 1978


HIST 84 U.S. Women's History
HIST 101 Historical Writing
HIST 158 Turmoil and Reform, U.S. 1877-1920
HIST 177 Gay Men and Lesbians in American History
HIST 181 Women in American Society Since 1900
HIST 188S Seminar: The U.S. Progressive Era




A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (Wiley-Blackwell), Co-edited with Christopher McKnight Nichols, 2017.

Belle La Follette: Progressive Era Reformer. Routledge. 2016

Winner of the 2016 Wisconsin Historical Society Book of Merit Award

Click here for more information.

Click here for 3 minute film about Belle La Follette

Beyond Nature's Housekeepers: American Women in Environmental History. Oxford University Press, 2012.

California Book Award finalist

Fighting Bob La Follette: The Righteous Reformer. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Revised paperback edition with new preface, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008.

Winner of Wisconsin Historical Society 2001 Book of Merit Award.

Click here for a 2 minute sound film of La Follette giving a speech in 1924

Top Five Book Chapters

  1. “The La Follettes,” in Modern American Political Dynasties: A Study of Power, Family and Political Influence, Kathleen Gronnerud and Scott Spitzer, eds., Praeger Press, 2018.
  2. “Using the Constitution to Limit Revolutions in Morality: The Diggs-Caminetti Case of 1913,” On-Going Revolutions in the U.S. and Europe, Marie Bolton and Marie-Elisabeth Baudin, eds.,Paris: Librarie generale de dtroit et de jurisprudence, 2017.
  3. “Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History,” Oxford Handbook of Environmental History, Andrew Isenberg, ed., (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 600-643.
  4. “The Role of Nature in Lesbian Alternative Environments in the United States : From Jook Joints to Sisterspace,” Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Biopolitics, and Desire, edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, University of Indiana Press, 2010, pp. 173-198.
  5. "'When Women Condemn the Whole Race': Belle Case La Follette Attacks the Color Line." In Women in Print, edited by James P. Danky and Wayne Wiegand. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006, pp. 281-296.


Top Five Journal Articles

“Legacies of Belle La Follette’s Big Tent Campaigns for Women’s Suffrage,” American Journalism 36, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 51-70. (access this article online)

“The Unexpected Belle La Follette,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 99, no. 2 (Winter 2015-2016): 16-27. (access this article online)
Wisconsin Magazine of History cover - Spring 2016

“La Follette’s Autobiography: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Glorious,”Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 10, no. 3 (July 2011): 354-61.

"Women for a Peaceful Christmas: Wisconsin Homemakers Seek to Remake American Culture,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 93, no. 2 (Winter 2009-2010): 2-15. (access this article online)

"Teaching 'Straight' Gay and Lesbian History." Journal of American History 93 (March 2007): 1192-99. [Electronic Journal, access the article online.]


Top 5 Online Presentations

  1. C-SPAN: The Role of Gay Bars in American History
  2. Keynote: From Fire Island to Fab Planet, an LGBTQ Environmental History
  3. C-SPAN Gays and Lesbians in Early 20th Century America
  4. C-SPAN: Women's Rights Activist Belle La Follette
  5. The Last Lecture: Personal Reflections


Top Five Op-eds

  1. Washington Post:“Tiny Homes are all the Rage: So Why do so Few Communities Welcome Them?” 
  2. TIME Magazine: "The Revolutionary Role of the Gay Bar in American History"
  3. "When Helping Earth was Women's Work"
  4. "For Overcoming Homophobia, California's Fair Education Act is a Model"
  5. "Belle La Follette Fights Woodrow Wilson's Racism"


Editorial Positions

2006-2013 Book Review editor: Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Board of Editors: Environmental Justice


Curriculum vitae
Curriculum vitae


image of Nancy Unger on C-SPAN



Contact Us

Amy Randall, Department Chair

Melissa Sims, Senior Administrative Assistant

408-554-4527 (phone)

408-554-2124 (fax)

O'Connor Hall