Dirks granted tenure
A native of eastern Wash-ington state, Dirks graduated in history from Reed College in 1982. She pursued her scholarly interest in U.S. history under the auspices of Yale University's American studies graduate program, where she studied American cultural and social history, and U.S. women's history, with related fields in nineteenth-century American literature and economic anthropology. Dirks earned her M.A. and M.Phil. in 1986 and her Ph.D. in 1996 from Yale.
After stints as a graduate instructor at Yale and Vassar College, Dirks returned to Reed in 1991 to teach U.S. history. As a member of Reed's history department she has offered, among other subjects, courses on gender and history, the history of consumer culture, and the history of the Progressive era. Dirks has also served as chair of Reed's American studies committee and has taught in the summer Alumni College and the MALS program.
Dirks has been the recipient of several teaching grants and is designing an interactive tutorial to guide students in choosing topics for research papers and compiling annotated bibliographies of their sources.
Dirks is currently on sabbatical and leave from Reed College for the 1997-98 academic year. She is an honorary visiting scholar at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College, where she is revising her 1996 dissertation on the National Consumers' League for publication as a book. The subject of her historical study, tentatively titled "Righteous Goods," is the political economy of gender and consumption at the turn of the last century in the United States.