Joan Scott by Marina Megalla

Joan Scott, née: Wallach, was born on December 18, 1941, in New York, U.S.

Her father, Sam Wallach, (July 1, 1909-June 2001) was a leader and president of the Teachers Union. (1) He was suspended in 1951, and then fired as a teacher in 1953 when he refused to take part in the House Subcommittee investigations of communism in the Teachers Union in 1948. (1) Sam's younger brother, Eli Wallach, was a Hollywood actor. (2) Eli Wallach has starred in movies with Marilyn Monroe. (2) Her mother, Lottie Tanenbaum, was an Orthodox Jew. She was also a teacher. (1)

Sam Wallach at the Teachers Union
Movie star Eli Wallach, Joan Scott's famous uncle

In 1962, she graduated from Brandeis University, pursuing a B.A. in history. (3) In 1964, she graduated from University of Wisconsin, with an M.S. in history. (3) In 1969, she re-attended University of Wisconsin and graduated with a PH.D in history. (3)

From 1970-1972, she was an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. (3) She then became an assistant professor at Northwestern University from 1972-1974. (3) From 1974-1977, she finally became an associate professor at the prestigious institution, University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (3) In 1980, she became a tenured professor at UNC Chapel Hill. (3) From 1980-1985, she became a History professor of the renowned Brown University. (3) From 1985-2014, one of her first longest terms as a professor, she was a professor of Social Science. (3) As of 2015, she is an adjunct professor at the Graduate Center in the City University of New York. (3)

Joan Scott has conducted excellent coverage of French, labor, gender, feminist, and intellectual history over the years. (4)

She contributed importantly to the newer field of intellectual history, which is the history of ideas. (5)

Joan Scott contributed greatly to gender history with a focus on feminism and the treatment of women in the course of history, with the use of the history of ideas (about gender and women) in the past. (4)

Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996); Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005), are some of her books in which she examines gender issues in France, which is the country that is her focus on. (4) Her most notable work is her book that was published in 2007, "The Politics of the Veil," (4) in which she discusses the issues behind France's ban on the traditional Islamic headdress for women, the hijab, and how that challenges France's constitution. (4) She also talks about secularism and gender equality in "The Politics of the Veil," (5)

A French Muslim woman using the French flag as a niqab (Islamic headdress) around her face.

Joan Scott is greatly inspired by the French thinker, Michel Foucault. (4)

Michel Foucault

As of the present, Joan Scott is currently one of the faculty at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton University situated in New Jersey. (5)

Joan Wallach Scott, Circa 2016


  1. "Sam Wallach (1909 - 2001)." Dreamers & Fighters: The NYC Teacher Purges. Women Make Movies, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <>.
  2. Partheymuller, Peter. "Eli Wallach, BA '36." Texas Alcalde. 4th ed. Vol. 88. N.p.: Emmis Communications, 2000. 1-72. Google Books. Google. Web. 26 Apr. 2017. <>.
  3. "Cirruculum Vitae (April 2017)." (2017): 1-13. Institute for Advanced Study. Princeton University, Apr. 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017. <>.
  4. Munro, André. "Joan Wallach Scott." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017. <>.
  5. "Joan Wallach Scott | School of Social Science." Institute for Advanced Study. Princeton University, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017. <>.
Created By
Marina Megalla

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