Profile: Beryl Satter

Professor

Faculty
Center for Migration and the Global City, Department of History, Graduate Program in American Studies, Program in Women's and Gender Studies

Research Interests: 20th-century United States history; history of women; cultural history; urban history.


Beryl Satter's first book, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920 (University of California Press, 1999) examined the relationship between New Thought, a popular, proto-New Age religious movement, the late nineteenth-century women's movement, and Progressivism. It traced the ways that New Thought adherents engaged with and sometimes contested contemporary ideas about gender, race and sexuality. It also showed the influence of ideas about gender, race and sexuality on American religion, health and politics.  It outlined the ways that debates on these issues shaped the transition from a Victorian to a modern social order. Her articles "Marcus Garvey, Father Divine and the Gender Politics of Race Difference and Race Neutrality," American Quarterly 47:4 (March 1996): 43-76 and "The Sexual Abuse Paradigm in Historical Perspective: Passivity and Emotion in Mid-Twentieth-Century America," Journal of the History of Sexuality 12: 3 (July 2003): 424-464 similarly examine the relationship between gender, politics and sexuality in two distinct cultural moments during the twentieth century.

Dr. Satter’s second book, Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (Metropolitan Books, 2009), won the Liberty Legacy Award in Civil Rights History and the National Jewish Book Award in History, and was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Ron Ridenhouer Book Prize.  It told the story of Dr. Satter's father, attorney Mark J. Satter, who fought exploitative, racially based real estate speculation in Chicago, and the many community activists who continued this battle after Mark Satter's death. In the late 1960s these activists formed an organization, the Contract Buyers League (CBL), which consisted of African-American residents of Chicago's West and South Sides.  The CBL fought redlining as well as the state and federal laws that enabled racially biased credit policies to flourish. Their efforts ultimately culminated in the passage of two landmark pieces of federal legislation in the 1970s -- the Community Reinvestment Act and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.  One part of the story of this mid-twentieth-century battle against housing exploitation is presented in Dr. Satter's article "'Our greatest moments of glory have been fighting the institutions we love the most': the Rise and Fall of Chicago's Interreligious Council on Urban Affairs, 1958-1969," U.S. Catholic Historian 22:2 (Spring 2004): 33-44.
 

  • Courses Taught

    The 1920s and the Great Depression

    History of Women in the United States

    The Twenties and the New Deal

    America in the Sixties

    Selected Topics in American Urban and Ethnic History

    American History, 1912-1945

    American History 1945-Present

  • Education

    Ph.D., American Studies, Yale University, 1992
    M. Phil., American Studies, Yale University, 1989
    M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies), Harvard Divinity School, 1986
     

  • Publications

    Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009) (paperback 2010).

    "'Our greatest moments of glory have been fighting the institutions we love the most': the Rise and Fall of Chicago's Interreligious Council on Urban Affairs, 1958-1969," U.S. Catholic Historian 22:2 (Spring 2004): 33-44.

    "The Sexual Abuse Paradigm in Historical Perspective: Passivity and Emotion in Mid-Century America," Journal of the History of Sexuality 12: 3 (July 2003).

    Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). (Paperback, 2001).

    "Marcus Garvey, Father Divine and the Gender Politics of Race Difference and Race Neutrality," American Quarterly 47:4 (March 1996): 43-76.

  • Awards

    Finalist, J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Nieman Foundation at Harvard (2010).

    Liberty Legacy Award for best book in civil rights history, Organization of American Historians (2010).

    Honor Book award, New Jersey Council for the Humanities (2010).

    National Jewish Book Award in History, Jewish Book Council (2009).

    Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for Exceptional Works of Nonfiction, which is jointly administered by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University (2004).

    Metropolitan Research Award from the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Research, Rutgers-Newark (2001).

    Henry J. Browne Teaching Excellence Award (1998).

    Pew Program in Religion Faculty Fellowship (1994).

  • Expertise

    20th-century United States history; history of women; cultural history; urban history.

  • 973-353-3900
  • satter@andromeda.rutgers.edu
  • 336 Conklin Hall
    175 University Ave.
    Newark, NJ 07102

  • ON LEAVE, Spring 2014