“Glenna Matthews with her co-authors Linda Witt and Karen Paget as they met Geraldine Ferraro.”
(click to enlargen)


            Ph.D. in American history, Stanford University, 1977.

            M.A. in  American history, Stanford University, 1971.

            B.A. with Great Distinction and Honors in History, San Jose State University, 1969. 


            “A California Middletown:  The Social History of San Jose in the Depression.” 


  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2004.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Stanford University, Winter 2000.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, UCLA, Winter 1995
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Fall     1992-Fall 1993 (joint appointment with History, Spring 1993
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Stanford University, Winter and Spring, 1990.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley, Spring  1989.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Stanford University, Fall 1988.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine, Fall 1987 and Winter 1988.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of California, Davis, Winter 1987.
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, Spring and Fall 1986.
  • Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University, 1983-1986.Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University, 1978-83.


  • “Just a Housewife”:  The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America,  Oxford UniversityPress, 1987.

                  Chapter I was included in the eighth edition of Allen Davis and Harold Woodman, eds.  Conflict and Consensus. 

  • The Rise of Public Woman:  Woman’s Power and Woman’s Place in the United States,1630-1970, Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Running as a Woman:  Gender and Power in American Politics, The Free Press, 1993, co-author
  •  American Women’s History: A Student Companion, Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream: Gender, Class, and Opportunity in the Twentieth Century, Stanford University Press, 2003
  • The Golden State in the Civil War: Thomas Starr King, the Republican Party, and the Birth of Modern California, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
1. Backstage at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach during a stint as a Velasquez Infanta.

1. Backstage at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach
during a stint as a Velasquez Infanta.

Public History Projects                                                                    

  • Principal consultant  for “Indians, Outlaws, and Angie Debo,” a film which aired on “The American Experience” and won the OAH’s Erik Barnouw Award in 1989. 
  • Curator of  “San Francisco:  The Dimensions of Diversity,” an exhibition for the San Francisco Public Library in 1996.

Articles and Essays 

  • “Women of the Boycott,” The Nation, February 23, 1974, co-author.
    “Women of the Boycott” has been translated into French and reprinted in Esprit.  It has  been extensively anthologized, including in America’s Working Women, edited by Rosalyn Baxandall et al and The Nation, 1865-1990,  edited by Katrina vanden Heuvel.
  • “Ethnicity and Success in San Jose,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 7 (Autumn 1976):  305-318.
  • “An Immigrant Community in Indian Territory,” Labor History 23 (Summer 1982):374-394.
  • “The Apricot War,” Agricultural History 59 (January 1985):  25-39.
  • “The Fruit Workers of the Santa Clara Valley:  Alternative Paths to Union Organization,” Pacific Historical Review 54  (February 1985): 51-70
  • “Against Great Odds:  The Life of Angie Debo,” OAH Newsletter (May 1985), co-author.
  • “Angie Debo:  A Study in Inspiration,” OAH Newsletter  (February 1989), co-author.
  • “‘Little Women’ Who Helped Make this Great War,” in Gabor Boritt, ed., Why theCivil   War Came, Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • “Forging a Cosmopolitan Civic Culture: The Regional Identity of San Francisco and Northern California,” in Michael Steiner and David Wrobel, eds. Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Identity, Lawrence:  University Press of Kansas, 1997.
  • Whose Backyard?:  Cities, Suburbs, and the American Soul,” review essay of fivebooks, Journal of Urban History 25 (November 1998): 94-102
  • ‘There Is No Sex in Citizenship ‘: The Career of Congresswoman Florence Prag Kahn,” in Melanie Gustafson, Kristie Miller, and Elisabeth Perry, eds. We Have Come to Stay:  American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960, Albuquerque:  University of New Mexico Press, 1999
  • “‘The Los Angeles of the North’:  San Jose’s Transition from Fruit Capital to   High-Tech Metropolis,” Journal of Urban History 25 (May 1999):  459-476.
  • “How They Lost Their Way in San Jose: The Capital of Silicon Valley as a Case Study of Postwar Sprawl,” in Terry S. Szold and Armando Carbonell, eds., Smart Growth: Form and Consequences, Cambridge, MA:  Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2002 .
  • “New Immigrants to Silicon Valley, 1970-2000,” in Clark Davis and David Igler, eds., The Human Tradition in California, Wilmington, Del:Scholarly Resources, Inc., 2002.
  • “120 Years of Activism: Jewish Women in California Politics,” in Marc Dollinger and Ava Kahn, eds., California Jews, University Press of New England/ Brandeis University Press 2003, co-author.
  • “A Revolutionary Breakthrough: Organizing Women Cannery Workers in California’s Santa Clara Valley in the 1930s,” in Experiencing American History:  Viewpoints of American and Russian Historians, Moscow: Moscow University Press, 2005.
  • “Immigrant Workers in Two Eras: Struggles and Successes” in Ted Smith, David Pellow and David Sonnenfeld , eds., Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Injustice in the Global Electronics Industry, Temple University Press, 2006, co-author.
  • “Doing Lincoln’s Work in California: Thomas Starr King and the Discourse of Anti-Racism,” The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History 34 (2010-2011): 33-46. 
  • “Toward the Rebirth of Downtown San Jose: Postwar Sprawl and Redevelopment in a Silicon Valley City,” Pacific Historical Review 85 (August 2016): 354-378. 

Honors and Grants

  • “Women of the Boycott” was the recipient of a Penney-Missouri Award in 1975
  • Amoco Outstanding Teacher Award, 1981
  • $1000 from the Oklahoma Humanities Committee for taping interviews withAngieDebo, 1981
  • ACLS Fellowship, 1982-1983
  • $5000 from the Oklahoma Humanities Committee for developing a documentary film about Angie Debo, 1983, co-project director
  • $38,500 from the Oklahoma Humanities Committee for a documentary film about Angie Debo, 1983, co-project director
  • The 1993 Sierra Prize, given by the Western Association of Women Historians, for The Rise of Public Woman
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1998-1999
  • The designation of Notable Social Science Trade Book for Young People for 2000 awarded to American Women’s History: A Student Companion, a distinction conferred jointly by the Children’s Book Council and the National Council for Social Studies
  • The designation of Outstanding Book of Special Distinction for American Women’s History from Library Materials Guide
  • Nikolai Sivachev Distinguished Chair in American History, Moscow State University, Russia, Spring 2002.
  • A grant of $18,000 from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program to microfilm some 400 speeches and sermons by Thomas Starr King and place them in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, the Wiggins Library in Chicago, and the Graduate Theological Union Library in Berkeley. 
  • Honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Starr King School for the Ministry, May 2017.

2. Elementary schoolgirl in Laguna Beach.

Selected Participation in Professional Meetings

  • Stirrings of Militancy:  Ethnic Labor in San Jose,” Organization of American   Historians, San Francisco, April 1980
  • A Catholic Community in Indian Territory,” Western History Association, Kansas City, October 1980
  • “A Cannery Worker Community in the 1930s,” Social Science History Association, Indiana University, November 1982
  • The Recollections of Angie Debo:  Profile of a Pioneer Woman Educator,” American Historical Association, Washington, D.C. December, 1982, co-author
  • “The Ideology of Domesticity,” Celebrating Women’s Lives, a women’s history conference at Radcliffe in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Schlesinger Library, invited participant, March 1984
  • Invited panelist at conference co-sponsored by the Sophia Smith Collection and the Schlesinger Library, “Preserving Women’s History:  Historians and Archivists Working Together,”  May 1984
  • “Varieties of Historical Writing,” American Historical Association, Chicago, December 1984, invited participant in workshop
  • “Darwinism and Domesticity,”  International Congress of the History of Science Society, University of California, Berkeley, August 1985
  • “Angie Debo:  The Last Progressive Historian,”  Berkshire Conference on    Women’s History, Wellesley College, June 1987, co-author
  • “Where Do Our Loyalties Lie:  Angie Debo and Some Issues Raised by Doing Feminist Biography,”  Woman’s West Conference, San Francisco State University, August 1987
  • Chair, “The Life of a Woman Historian,” American Historical Association, Washington D.C., December 1987
  • “The Power of the Word:  Public Woman and the Novel,”  Eleventh Annual Irvine Seminar on Social History and Theory, April 1988
  • Chair, “The Filmmaker as Historian,” American Historical Association, San Francisco, December 1989
  • Invited participant in conference, “Modes of Inquiry for City History,”Chicago Historical Society, October 1990
  • Participant on panel, “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Women Candidates,” Organization of American Historians, Anaheim, April 1993
  • Participant on panel, “Roundtable on Women Candidates,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, Vassar College, June 1993
  • “The Los Angeles of the North:  San Jose’s Transition from Fruit Capital to High-Tech Metropolis,” American Historical Association, January 1997
  • “Forging a Cosmopolitan Civic Culture:  The Regional Consciousness of San Francisco and Northern California,” Organization of American Historians, April 1997
  • Invited participant on panel honoring Carl Degler, Organization of American Historians, April 1999
  • Co-Chair, “Women, Men and the Historical Profession in the 21st Century,” American Historical Association, Chicago, January 2000
  • Invited participant, Symposium on Smart Growth, MIT, March 2000
  • Invited participant, Sunbelt Symposium, University of Central Florida, February 2001
  • “‘A Pale Shadow of Its Former Self’: Cold-War Paranoia and the Santa Clara Valley Labor Movement,” American Historical Association, San Francisco, January 2002
  • “The American University and the Public Intellectual: One Historian’s Perspective,” Fulbright Alumni Association of Russia, 2nd All Russia Conference, Yaroslavl, April, 2002
  • “A Revolutionary Breakthrough: Women Cannery Workers of the Santa Clara Valley in the 1930s,” Fulbright Conference in Honor of Nikolai Sivachev, Moscow State University, June 2004
  • Commentator on session on Bay Area Women Activists, Organization of American Historians, San Jose, April 2005.

Teaching Areas

  •             Women in U.S. History
  •             20th-Century U.S. History
  •             Urban History
  •             California History

Recent Courses Taught

  • 20th-Century U.S. Social History (UCLA)
  • Comparative Gender Systems (U.C. Berkeley)
  • Undergraduate seminars on women’s political history (Berkeley) and the workers   of Silicon Valley (UCLA)
  • Selected Topics in 20th-Century U.S. Society and Culture (Moscow State University)
  • Women in U.S. History (U.C. Berkeley)
Glenna Matthews

3. Head shot for the lobby of the Laguna Summer Theater during a performance of “The Gioconda Smile.” An apprentice typically gets to play at least one small part.

Additional Information

  • Program chair, Stanford Conference on Teaching the History of Women, January 1975.
  • Newberry Summer Institute in Quantitative History, 1979.
  • Fellow, Huntington Library, September 1988.
  • Lecturer, American Participant program, summer 1989.  In this capacity, I spoke in twelve European cities.
  • Member of Advisory Board, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University, 1988-1996.
  • Trustee, California Historical Society, 1989-1994.
  • Nominating Committee, Pacific Coast Branch, AHA, 1992-1994.
  • Membership Committee, Organization of American Historians, 1992-1996.
  • Chair, Urban History Association’s committee to select best article in the field, 1992.
  • Research Associate, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of  California, Berkeley, 1994-2007.
  • Committee on Women Historians, American Historical Association, 1996-1999.
  • Lerner-Scott Prize Committee, OAH, 1997-1998.
  • Board member, Urban History Association, 1998-2000.
  • Board of editors, Pacific Historical Review, 2000-2002.
  • Beveridge/Dunning Prize Committee, AHA, 2001-2002.
  • Council, Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA, 2002-2004.
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist grantee, University of Genoa, May 2004.
  • Visiting Scholar, Starr King School for the Ministry, 2007-.