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Estelle Freedman

Estelle Freedman

Estelle Freedman

Stanford University
Faculty Fellow, 2021-22
Faculty Fellow, 2021-22
Faculty Fellow, 2020-21
Faculty Fellow, 2019-20
Fellow, 2018-19 Study #15
Fellow, 2009-10 Study #15

Estelle Freedman’s current research project expands upon the legal approach in her book Redefining Rape: Sexual Violence in the Era of Suffrage and Segregation (Harvard University Press, 2013), by exploring digitized oral history collections as sources for understanding personal narratives of assault, rape, and harassment in the twentieth-century U.S.  She is working on methodological and historical essays interpreting sexual memories, sexual silences, and the changing language of sexual trauma across diverse groups of narrators.

Freedman’s past scholarship has focused on the histories of women, sexuality, feminism, and social movements. In addition to two books on the history of women’s prison reform in the U.S., she is the author of No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (Ballantine Books, 2002) and the co-author (with John D'Emilio) of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (3d edition, University of Chicago Press, 2012), and the editor of The Essential Feminist Reader (Modern Library, 2007). She earned her BA at Barnard College, and MA and PhD degrees in U.S. history at Columbia University.

Freedman holds the Edgar E. Robinson chair (Emerit) in U.S. history at Stanford, where she co-founded the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has been a CASBS faculty fellow since 2020, participating as a member in the CASBS project “Addressing Sexual Violence Through Institutional Courage,” and was a fellow at CASBS in 2009-10 and 2018-19.

For more information, you can find her CV at

Tyler Books

Freedman, Estelle B.. 2013. Redefining rape: sexual violence in the era of suffrage and segregation. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
My desire for history: essays in gay, community, and labor history Bérubé, Allan. D'Emilio, John. ed. Freedman, Estelle. ed.. 2011. My desire for history: essays in gay, community, and labor history. Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press.