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About

Martha Porter Saxton

Professor (Emerita), Departments of History and Women's and Gender Studies, Amherst College

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1988–1990)

Martha Porter Saxton received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1989 and joined the Columbia Society of Fellows during that same time. More recently, Saxton was named a Cullman Fellow (2007-2008) and received the Whiting Travel Fellowship (2012). Saxton’s teaching interests, like her research, began with and still embraced women's history and gender. She integrated both into her other interests, which included Colonial North America and the U.S. up to the Civil War, the Old South, and African American and Native American history. Recently, in conjunction with a colleague in Political Science, Saxton developed a course on human rights, which was introduced to students through its history, its evolving philosophy, including critiques, and through case studies of activism and work in the field. She was the Co-founder and co-editor of The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. She died in 2023 at the age of 77.