Draper Dissertation Fellow
“The Family and the Home as the Nursery of Humanity”: Flemmie Kittrell and the International Politics of Home Economics
Allison Horrocks is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include histories of domesticity, higher education, and the intersections of women’s studies and public humanities. For her doctoral research on Home Economics in higher education, Allison received the Dean’s Fellowship in Human Ecology at Cornell University in 2013.
During her time at the Humanities Institute, she will complete her dissertation, entitled “‘The Family and the Home as the Nursery of Humanity’: Flemmie Kittrell and the International Politics of Home Economics.” Using the story of Flemmie Kittrell—the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Home Economics—as both lens and guidepost, this dissertation questions assumptions about the domestic orientation of the discipline. Drawing upon a wide range of archival sources, this work argues that home economics was both more diverse and internationally minded than heretofore imagined. Instead of offering a declension narrative for the 1970s, this dissertation posits that home economists’ largely forgotten international work played a large role in the decline of the field at “home institutions.”