Amy S. Greenberg

Amy S. Greenberg

Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: United States History

Competition: US & Canada

Pennsylvania State University

Amy S. Greenberg, Professor of American History and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, is a scholar of antebellum America with particular interests in the transformation of gender norms and the relationship between the United States and the wider world. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989 and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995. Her work bridges diplomacy, politics, society, gender, and culture, and foregrounds the activities of U.S. citizens abroad within the central narratives of U.S. history. She has published two books. Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire (2005) offers a radical revision of the roots and implications of the American ideology of Manifest Destiny, positing a direct connection between masculine practices in the United States and the pursuit of new territories by American citizens in the 1850s. Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in Nineteenth-Century America (1998) explores the contested meanings of manhood in antebellum urban America, and argues that antebellum volunteer firefighters were bound together by shared masculine practices that subverted class divisions. She has recently published articles on topics including the role of manhood in presidential elections, the expansionist context of Herman Melville’s Typee, and the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. During her Guggenheim Fellowship term she will write a narrative history of the U.S.-Mexico War that highlights the successes of the antiwar movement.

Ms. Greenberg has served as co-director of the program in American Studies, and interim director of the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State. She has received fellowships from the Huntington Library, Gilder-Lehrman Foundation/ New-York Historical Society, Beinecke Library, and American Philosophical Society. In 1999 she received the George W. Atherton Award, the highest award given by the Pennsylvania State University system for undergraduate teaching. In December of 2007, History News Network named her a “Top Young Historian." For more information about this honor, see


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