Katherine Parkin is Professor of History at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She has written extensively on US Women’s, Social, and Cultural History. Her first book, Food is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America, was awarded the Emily Toth Award for best book in feminist popular culture in 2006. Her newest book, Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars, also won the Emily Toth award (2018). In 2019, she was named the Jules Plangere Jr. Chair in American Social History at Monmouth University.

In the July issue of Advertising & Society Quarterly, Parkin explored “Women and Car Advertising in the United States.” She argued that car advertisers have frequently used race, class, and gender to market their cars, and focuses on Cinderella and Cadillacs to help her explore these themes.

Parkin analyzed the first woman to drive across the country, Alice Ramsey, including her time driving in and around Monmouth County, New Jersey and endurance runs from New York City to Long Island, New York, as well as to Philadelphia. Parkin presented her findings about Ramsey’s life to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., revealing that while she married young and had two children, most of her adult life was spent living with long-term female companions, first in New Jersey and then moving to California. Check out the article at the New Jersey Studies site.

She examined the history of one of the earliest creators of cars in American history, Edgar Apperson, and analyzed his two long-standing relationships with men in “Adult Adoption and Intergenerational Same-Sex Relationships.”

If you’re interested in tire advertising, please check out “’Bring Them Back Alive!‘: Fear and the Macabre in US Automobile Tire Advertising,” Advertising & Society Quarterly 18(1) April 2017.


Check out a recent article regarding women’s marriage proposals in leap years and interview with Bob Edwards on Sirius XM regarding Food is Love.

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