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Elaine Frantz Parsons, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

College Hall 616
Phone: 412.396.6473


Ph.D., History, John Hopkins University, 1999
M.A., History, John Hopkins University, 1994
B.A., Political and Social Thought, University of Virginia, 1992


Elaine Parsons specializes in the history of of social movements, particularly in the nineteenth-century United States. She is particularly interested in how social movements work to translate discourse into action, and how, in turn, the actions of social movements influence popular discourse. Her first book, Manhood Lost: Fallen Men and Redeeming Women in the Nineteenth-Century United States explored the temperance movement's use and manipulation of the concept of "manhood," and suggested that this was one of the ways in which the movement paved the way for woman suffrage. Her current project takes a similar approach to the post-Civil War Ku-Klux Klan, showing the role of the national press in shaping the Klan, but also how the Klan's actions re-structured Southern ideas about manhood, race, and government.

One of the techniques that Prof. Parsons is using intensively throughout this project is Network Analysis. Parsons is an enthusiastic convert to the digital humanities.


HIST 203 : History of the United States to 1877
HIST 204: History of the United States since 1877

HIST 303: Violence in American Society

HIST 311W: Writing History
HIST 333: American Women in History
HIST 364: History of Sexuality in the United States, 1820-2000
HIST 386: The American South

HIST 433W/533: Gender in American History
HIST 465W/565: Reform in America
HIST 571 Expansion and Reform: U.S. History, 1868-1929