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OHIO Expert

Photo of Katherine Jellison

Katherine Jellison, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:
Contemporary U.S. Politics, Elections, Farm Women, First Ladies of the United States, First Lady Studies, Gender in Politics, Political Campaigns, Political History, Politics, U.S. Marriage and Wedding Customs, U.S. Women and Agriculture, Wedding History, Women In Politics, Women's History, Women's Studies

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The Faculty Newsmakers Gala is an annual event hosted by University Communications and Marketing A scholar of women's studies, Dr. Katherine Jellison devotes her research to various topics of the field, including women's suffrage and First Lady Studies. One such focus is on the unelected position of first Lady of the United States, particularly how the First Lady wields much influence on the public and on policy, despite the lesser title to her husband.

An expert on women in history, Jellison is the author of "Entitled to Power: Farm Women and Technology, 1913-1963" and "It's Our Day: America's Love Affair with the White Wedding, 1945-2005." In the former, she examines Midwestern farm women's reaction to new labor-saving devices and the evolution of farming.

Researching weddings for over a decade, Jellison notes in her book that the "white wedding" is a post-war phenomenon, which continues to become more opulent and prevalent as families have more disposable incomes and new living locations. The media helped the trend grow, publicizing high profile celebrity weddings. She is currently at work on her new book, which examines the use of Amish women in modern advertising.

Jellison is the recipient of numerous awards at Ohio University, including the Excellence in Feminist Pedagogy Award, the University Professor Award and designation as a Fellow in the Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities. Jellison has also received numerous research grants and fellowships, including awards from the Smithsonian Institution and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Jellison serves as the chair of the Department of History and is director of the Master's Degree in Social Science program. She is also an active member of the Athens County League of Women Voters, previously serving as president and secretary.

The media frequently call upon Jellison for her expertise, including regarding First Lady Michelle Obama's public health campaigns and her growing approval ratings. Jellison was extensively featured in the news stories surrounding the wedding of former President George W. Bush's daughter, Jenna, based on her expertise on America's fascination with celebrity weddings.

Jellison's Media Placements include:

  • USA Today
  • Detroit Free Press
  • Woman's Day magazine
  • Washington Post
  • New York Times
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Miami Herald
  • Times Picayune
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Kentucky Post
  • New York Daily News
  • Columbus Dispatch
  • MSNBC.com
  • Boston Globe
  • Newsday


Expert Video

The Role of Women in the Political Process

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