MacArthur Fellows Program

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Historian | Class of 1992

Durham, New Hampshire
54 at time of award
Area of Focus
American History
Published July 1, 1992

About Laurel's Work

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a historian of women and of American history.

Approaching colonial and nineteenth-century New England life with the eye of an anthropologist, Ulrich draws on diaries, household inventories, gravestones, court records, and textile manufacturing for her work.  From the minutiae of daily life she derives fresh interpretations of women’s history, economic activity, and gender and community relations in preindustrial America.  She is the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England (1982), A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990), and The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2002).  She also edited the book Yards and Gates: Gender in Harvard and Radcliffe History (2004).


Ulrich has been the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History and a professor of women’s studies at Harvard University since 1995.  She served previously on the faculty of the University of New Hampshire (1980-95).

Ulrich received a B.A. (1960) from the University of Utah, an M.A. (1971) from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. (1980) from the University of New Hampshire.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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