The National Women’s History Museum has named Emma Rothberg, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, as an inaugural U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg Predoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies. The fellowship, named in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice, is meant to support the museum’s education department and assist in content creation for its online learning resources. As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rothberg’s research focuses on gender, urban, labor, and cultural history in the United States. Specifically, her dissertation focuses on urban parading culture between 1870 and 1920 and examines questions around democracy and citizenship as the nation urbanized.
“I’ve always been really into the ways in which we identify ourselves and tell our own histories, whether they be individual, family, or national stories,” Rothberg said. “I’ve always been interested in stories, and history is ultimately a really great tale.”
At the online museum, Rothberg works within the education department and has answered research questions, written biographies of women throughout history, and curated digital exhibits, among other tasks.
“I hope I am doing every small part that I can to show that women’s history is not secondary—that it should be part of our education,” Rothberg said. “I hope that every time I answer a question for a high school student, and we can tell them about an individual woman or women’s movement, they’ll see that it’s just as integral to the history of the United States.”
Rothberg arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill following completion of her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in 2015. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, the William Umstead Distinguished Professor, is her dissertation adviser.
According to Rothberg, the fellowship, which runs through 2022, will allow her to continue her graduate studies while gaining on-the-ground experience in museum education.
“To be able to get back to doing something I’m passionate about, which is helping the public understand stories of really amazing women, is such an honor.”
The Department of History is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. Brundage, Ph.D., joined the University in 2002.