Michigan State University

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Grant, Julia

Social Relations and Policy

Ph.D., Boston University; American Studies

Case Hall
842 Chestnut Rd Room S359
East Lansing, MI 48825


Julia Grant has taught at James Madison College for over twenty years, after receiving her Ph.D. from Boston University, where she directed the Women's Studies Program, and worked in a non-profit agency providing social services in a community setting. She has taught in the Humanities, Culture, and Writing Program and in Social Relations and Policy in courses ranging from the Politics of Disability to Education Policy, and Sexual Politics. She has been the recipient of a Spencer Fellowship, a Lily Teaching Fellowship, and the Teacher-Scholar Award. Her published work includes Raising Baby by the Book: The Education of American Mothers (Yale, 1998), When Science Encounters the Child: Perspectives on Education, Child Welfare, and Parenting [Teachers College, 2001), and a forthcoming book from Johns Hopkins entitled The Boy Problem in Urban America. She has also published articles on the history of childhood and gender, masculinity, and sexuality. An active member of the Center for Gender in Global Context, she has been acting director of the Center, and created a joint study abroad program between James Madison and Women and Gender Studies, exploring sexual and gender politics in the Netherlands. Her greatest joy has been guiding and advising students as they move through James Madison College to rewarding jobs and personal lives. She looks forward to the opportunity to continue to reshape the vision of James Madison College to meet the challenges of the 21st century, to broaden opportunities for students and faculty, and to be a spokesperson for James Madison as an exemplar of high quality undergraduate education in a large land grant university.



Juila Grant’s commentary: “Obama's 'Brother's Keeper' Effort: Noble but Incomplete” appears in Education Week. More...

Associate Dean and Professor Julia Grant has published the book The Boy Problem: Educating Boys in Urban America, 1870-1970.

The question of what to do with boys -- the "boy problem"—has vexed educators and social commentators for more than a century. Contemporary debates about poor academic performance of boys, especially those of color, point to a myriad of reasons: inadequate and punitive schools, broken families, poverty, and cultural conflicts. Julia Grant offers a historical perspective on these debates and reveals that it is a perennial issue in American schooling that says much about gender and education today. More....

Associate Dean Julia Grant and Professor Lisa Cook have been selected as MSU Academic Leadership Fellows in collaboration with the Committee on Institutional Collaboration (Big Ten plus University of Chicago).  Grant and Cook will be visiting other CIC institutions and meeting with leaders at both MSU and beyond to learn more about new directions, current trends, and best practices in higher education. 

Professors Julia Grant, Simei Qing and Anna Pegler-Gordon organized a roundtable and presented together at the American Historical Association conference in January 2006 about "Textbooks, Popular History, and the News: Teaching National Histories and National Identities."  The roundtable grew, in part, out of a joint MC281 honors option that Julia and Anna teach together and that they are expanding this year to include some of Simei Qing's students. 

Professor Grant published "Bringing Up Boys: Gender, Science, and Popular Culture," appear in Science in Service of Children: Child Welfare, Education and Parenting in Twentieth-Century America (2005). She also co-authored the introduction the same volume.