Jocelyn Olcott

Jocelyn Olcott

Professor of History and Chair

External address: 
114A East Duke, Box 90760, Durham, NC 27708-0760
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 668-5298
Office Hours: 
Schedule appointments here.


Jocelyn Olcott is Professor of History; International Comparative Studies; and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s.  Her second book, International Women’s Year:  The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History considers the history and legacies of the United Nation’s first world conference on women in 1975 in Mexico City (Oxford University Press, 2017).  Her current project, a biography of the activist and folksinger Concha Michel, a one-time Communist who became an icon of maternalist feminism and a vocal advocate for recognizing the economic importance of subsistence labors, is under contract with Duke University Press.  The book follows Michel's life story from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth to examine the ways that the concept, labor, and policies surrounding “motherhood” articulated with major shifts in political-economic thought.  She has also embarked on an international, interdisciplinary project centered on rethinking the value of care labors broadly speaking, including not only dependent and household care but also, for example, environmental, community, cultural, and sexual care.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 2000

  • M.A., Yale University 1996

  • B.A., Princeton University 1992

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Fellow awarded by Institut d'Études Avancées - Nantes (2017 to 2018)

Frank Kenan Fellow awarded by National Humanities Center (2013 to 2014)

Fellow awarded by Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University (2009 to 2010)

Cano, Gabriela, et al. Género, poder y politico en el México posrevolucionario. Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009.

Olcott, Jocelyn, et al. Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico. Duke University Press, 2006.

Olcott, Jocelyn. Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico. Duke University Press, 2005.

Olcott, J. “Megan Threlkeld, Pan American Women: U.S. Internationalists and Revolutionary Mexico, reviewed for Diplomatic History.” Diplomatic History, vol. 41, no. 3, Mar. 2017, pp. 659–62.

Olcott, By Jocelyn. “Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United Statesby Heidi Tinsman.Women’S Studies, vol. 45, no. 4, Informa UK Limited, 18 May 2016, pp. 415–18. Crossref, doi:10.1080/00497878.2016.1162622. Full Text

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Review of Rosana Blanco Cano, Cuerpos disidentes del México imaginado.” Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 2013.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Review of Stephanie Smith, Gender and the Mexican Revolution: Yucatán Women and the Realities of Patriarchy.” The Americas, vol. 66, Jan. 2010, pp. 401–02.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Empire in Exile: Transnationalizing the Cultural Production of Resistance.” Diplomatic History, 2010.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Review of Joanne Hershfield, Imagining la Chica Moderna: Women, Nation, and Visual Culture in Mexico, 1917–1936.American Historical Review, vol. 114, Apr. 2009, pp. 463-464–463–464.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Historia de las mujeres en España y América Latina (4 vols.).” Gender and History, vol. 21, Apr. 2009, pp. 220–22.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Review of Stephanie Mitchell and Patience A. Schell, eds., "The Women’s Revolution in Mexico, 1910-1953".” Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 89, Feb. 2009.

Francois, Marie Eileen, and Marie Eileen Olcott JH. “A Culture of Everyday Credit: Housekeeping, Pawnbroking, and Governance in Mexico City, 1750-1920.” Journal of Latin American Studies, 2007.


Olcott, J. Mujeres, historias y sociedades: Latinamérica siglos XVI al XXI. Edited by J. Moroni Spencer Hernández de Olarte and J. Natalia Montes Marín, Fondo Editorial Estado de México, 2016.

Olcott, J. “From the time of creation: Legacies and unfinished business from the first International Women's Year Conference.” Women and Girls Rising: Progress and Resistance around the World, 2015, pp. 21–31. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315708379. Full Text

Olcott, J. “A happier marriage? Feminist history takes the transnational turn.” Making Women’s Histories: Beyond National Perspectives, 2013, pp. 237–58.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Transnational Feminism: Event, Temporality, and Performance at the 1975 International Women’s Year Conference.” Cultures in Motion, edited by Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University Press, 2013.

Olcott, J. “The Battle within the Home.” Workers Across the Americas: The Transnational Turn in Labor History, 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731633.003.0015. Full Text

Olcott, Jocelyn. “The Battle within the Home: Development Strategies and the Commodification of Caring Labors at the 1975 International Women’s Year Conference.” Workers Across the Americas: The Transnational Turn in Labor History, edited by Leon Fink and et al, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “The Politics of Opportunity: Mexican Populism under Lázaro Cárdenas and Luis Echeverría.” Gender and Populism in Latin America: Passionate Politics, edited by Karen Kampwirth, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Globalizing Sisterhood: International Women’s Year and the Limits of Identity Politics.” Shock of the Global, edited by Niall Ferguson et al., Harvard University Press, 2010.

Olcott, Jocelyn. “Mueras y Mantanzas: Spectacles of Terror and Violence in Postrevolutionary Mexico.” A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War, edited by Greg Grandin and Gilbert M. Joseph, Duke University Press, 2010.

Olcott, J. “Public in a domestic sense: Sex work, nation-building, and class identification in modern Europe.” American Historical Review, vol. 123, no. 1, Feb. 2018, pp. 124–31. Scopus, doi:10.1093/ahr/123.1.124. Full Text

Olcott, J. “A plague of salaried marxists: Sexuality and subsistence in the revolutionary imaginary of concha michel.” Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 52, no. 4, Jan. 2017, pp. 980–98. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0022009417723977. Full Text

Olcott, J. “Empires of information: Media strategies for the 1975 international women's year.” Journal of Women’S History, vol. 24, no. 4, Dec. 2012, pp. 24–48. Scopus, doi:10.1353/jowh.2012.0041. Full Text

Olcott, J. “Introduction: Researching and rethinking the labors of love.” Hahr  Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 91, no. 1, Feb. 2011, pp. 1–27. Scopus, doi:10.1215/00182168-2010-085. Full Text

Olcott, J. “Cold War Conflicts and Cheap Cabaret: Sexual Politics at the 1975 United Nations International Women's Year Conference.” Gender and History, vol. 22, no. 3, Nov. 2010, pp. 733–54. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0424.2010.01614.x. Full Text

Olcott, J. “"Take off that streetwalker's dress": Concha Michel and the cultural politics of gender in postrevolutionary Mexico.” Journal of Women’S History, vol. 21, no. 3, Sept. 2009, pp. 36–59. Open Access Copy

Olcott, J. “Miracle workers: Gender and state mediation among textile and garment workers in Mexico's transition to industrial development.” International Labor and Working Class History, no. 63, Mar. 2003, pp. 45–62. Open Access Copy

Olcott, J. “"Worthy wives and mothers:" State-sponsored women's organizing in postrevolutionary Mexico.” Journal of Women’S History, vol. 13, no. 4, Jan. 2002, pp. 106–31. Scopus, doi:10.1353/jowh.2002.0011. Full Text Open Access Copy