Louise A. Tilly

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Louise A. Tilly is a historian known for utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to her scholarly work, fusing sociolology with historical research. Born December 13, 1930, in Orange, New Jersey, at a young age Tilly was influenced to study history by a fourth grade teacher. She acquired a bachelor's degree in history from Rutgers University (with honors) in 1952, followed by a master's degree from Boston University in 1955, and a Ph.D at the University of Toronto in 1974.

Scholarly Work[edit]

An author, editor, contributing author, and editor of nine books and fifty scholarly articles, Louise A. Tilly examines the history from "ordinary people" and how they effect holistic social change. For example, in Tilly's last book Politics and Class in Milan, 1881-1901, she examines the duality of the working class and the rise of the socialist movement in Milan, Italy. Additionally, Tilly's research looks to find how industrialization, the formation of class, and welfare states effected gender and family structures throughout the world.

Professional Contributions[edit]

Louise A. Tilly, a recipient of notable grants such as the Rockefeller Foundation Population Policy, has also been an evaluator of grants and fellowships for the National Science Foundation. Furthermore, Tilly taught as a professor at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan throughout the 1970s and 1980s. While at the University of Michigan, Tilly served as the director of the women's studies department during the same time period. Additionally, Tilly has served as president of the American Historical Association (AHA), in 1993. She later occupied the Michael E. Gellert Professor of History and Sociology, at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, where she was also the chair on the Committee on Historical Studies.


Louise Tilly's late spouse was professor and author, Charles Tilly. Together they contributed ample research toward historical and sociological scholarship. The couple had four children: Christopher, Kit, Laura, and Sarah.

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