Mintz, Steven 1953–

views updated

Mintz, Steven 1953–

(Steven Harry Mintz)

PERSONAL: Born February 16, 1953, in Detroit, MI; son of Marvin F. (a stockbroker) and Esther (a teacher; maiden name, Sklar) Mintz; married Susan Kellogg (an anthropologist), July 18, 1982; children: Seth Kellogg. Education: Oberlin College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1973; Yale University, M.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1979. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, University of Houston, 524 Agnes Arnold Hall, Houston, TX 77204-3003. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, assistant professor of history, 1978–80; University of Houston Central Campus, Houston, TX, began as assistant professor of history, 1981, became director of the American Cultures Program, 1995–, associate dean for graduate studies and research, College of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences, 1998–2000, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History, 1999–, senior associate dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 2000–2001. Exchange professor at Universitaet-Gesamthochschule Seigen, Siegen, West Germany, 1985–86. Grant writer, author, and guest speaker. Organizer of numerous conferences, including "Freedom, Race, and Bondage," Yale University, 2002, "Teaching Twentieth-Century United States History," University of Houston, 2002, and "Are America's Families in Crisis?," Tenneco Community Symposium, 2004. Member of board of advisors, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and History Teacher. Consultant to various organizations, including the New Jersey Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution.

MEMBER: Council on Contemporary Families (member of executive committee), H-Net, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Kanzer fellow, Yale University, 1977–78; grants from the University of Houston, 1984 and 1985; Master Teacher Award, College of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Communication, University of Houston, 1992; Cooper Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston, 1998; R.R. Hawkins Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book, Association of American Publishers, Merle Curti Award for Best Book in American Social History, and Carr P. Collins Award for Best Nonfiction Book, all 2004, all for Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood; Outstanding Educator Award, University Continuing Education Association (Region South), 2004.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

(With wife, Susan Kellogg) Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life from the Colonial Era to the Present, Free Press (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) African American Voices: The Life Cycle of Slavery, Brandywine Press (Naugatuck, CT), 1993.

Moralists and Modernizers: America's Pre-Civil War Reformers, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1995.

(Editor, with David Brion) The Boisterous Sea of Liberty: A Documentary History of America from Discovery through the Civil War, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, Belknap Press of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

General editor, "The American Social Experience" series, New York University Press (New York, NY). Contributor to books, including Contemporary Families Handbook, edited by Marilyn Coleman and Larry H. Ganong, Sage (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2003; Columbia University Press Companion to American History on Film, edited by Peter C. Rollins, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2004; and The Family in Transition, edited by Arlene Skolnik and Jerome Skolnick. Member of editorial board, Film & History.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Problem of Evil: Slavery, Race, and the Ambiguities of Reform, with John Stauffer for University of Massachusetts Press.

SIDELIGHTS: Steven Mintz is a historian who frequently focuses on family life and childhood. In Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life from the Colonial Era to the Present, written with his wife, Susan Kellogg, Mintz presents a "provocative and extremely informative study" on the transformations of American family structure since Puritan New England, according to Psychology Today reviewer Beryl Lief Benderly.

In his 2004 publication, Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, Mintz focuses more exclusively on children. The Puritans viewed children as small, imperfect adults, but this paradigm eventually gave way to one in which children were protected from the harsh realities of the adult world. Mintz maintains that in more recent years this protection has been breached because adult attitudes have become less child-oriented. Assessing Huck's Raft in History: Review of New Books, Crista DeLuzio stated that the author "masterfully traces the changes in the diverse and often difficult experiences of children and youth, as well as in the contested constructions of the concepts of childhood and adolescence, from the colonial era to the present."

Mintz once told CA: "My goal is to write history that confronts ethical and existential questions across time."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, April, 1984, review of A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture, p. 431.

Booklist, September 1, 1998, Jay Freeman, review of The Boisterous Sea of Liberty: A Documentary History of America from Discovery through the Civil War, p. 60.

Christian Century, March 22, 2005, Catherine M. Wallace, review of Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, p. 26.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 2005, Crista DeLuzio, review of Huck's Raft, p. 96.

Library Journal, September 15, 1998, Robert A. Curtis, review of The Boisterous Sea of Liberty, p. 93.

Psychology Today, June, 1988, Beryl Lief Benderly, review of Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life from the Colonial Era to the Present, p. 74.

USA Today Magazine, March, 2005, Steven G. Kellman, review of Huck's Raft, p. 81.