Joan Wallach Scott
|Joan Wallach Scott|
Joan Wallach Scott (right) with Kristen Ghodsee
December 18, 1941
Brooklyn, New York
|Institutions||Institute for Advanced Study|
Joan Wallach Scott (born December 18, 1941), is an American historian of France with contributions in gender history and intellectual history. She is the Harold F. Linder Professor at the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Among her publications was the article "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis", published in 1986 in the American Historical Review. This article, "undoubtedly one of the most widely read and cited articles in the journal's history", was seminal in the formation of a field of gender history within the Anglo-American historical profession.
She was born Joan Wallach in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Lottie (née Tannenbaum) and Sam Wallach, high school teachers. Her family was Jewish, and her father was born in Dolina, Poland. During the Red Scare, her father, who had been active in various left-wing causes, was fired for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into activities of the American Communist Party, an event that helped to seal his daughter's sympathy with the left. She graduated from Brandeis in 1962 and received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1969.
Before joining the Institute for Advanced Study, Scott taught in history departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Brown University. At Brown University she was founding director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, and the Nancy Duke Lewis University Professor and professor of history. She serves on the editorial boards of Signs, Differences, History and Theory and, since January 2006, the Journal of Modern History. In 2010, she helped to found History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History. Scott has written that it was during her time at the Pembroke Center that she first started "to think about theory and gender".
Scott's work has challenged the foundations of conventional historical practice, including the nature of historical evidence and historical experience and the role of narrative in the writing of history. Drawing on a range of philosophical thought, as well as on a rethinking of her own training as a labor historian, she has contributed to a transformation of the field of intellectual history. Her current work focuses on the vexed relationship of the particularity of gender to the universalizing force of democratic politics.
Scott's work has been mostly concerned with modern French history and with the history of gender. According to Scott, the mostly male and white Western historians have over the centuries promoted the idea of one "Truth" in history, which was tied to the idea of a "centre. For Scott, the idea of a "centre" by necessary meant a policy of exclusion as the "centre" has been defined as consisting of well-off white heterosexual men and anyone not belonging to the "centre" such as all non-white people, women, gays, the poor and so forth have been ignored by historians. Scott further maintains the centre created by historians "rest on-contains-repressed or negated material and so is unstable , not unified", but despite this, historians have tried to promote the idea that the study of the "centre" is the only "natural" area of study. Greatly influenced by the French deconstructionist Jacques Derrida, Scott sees her historical work as attempting to challenge what she sees as the fraudulent nature of the historical profession by seeking to study the history of the excluded groups and to challenge the androcentric, "white privileged" view of history which holds that the deeds of white, straight men are the "centre". Citing Derrida, Scott argues that "historical deconstruction":
"...undermines the historian's ability to claim neutral mastery or to present any particular story as if it were complete, universal, and objectively determined. Instead, if one grants that meanings are constructed through exclusions, one must acknowledge and take responsibility for the exclusions involved in one's own project".
Another major influence on Scott was the British Marxist historian E. P. Thompson, especially his 1963 book The Making of the English Working Class which she has cited as an example of "socially relevant history". Scott's earlier work on French history as often been "history from below" dealing with the lives of ordinary French people instead of the high and mighty. In her 1974 book The Glassworkers of Carmaux, Scott challenged the popular theory that industrial unrest in the French city of Carmaux in the 19th century was due mainly to economic change, but was rather due to ownership of land and the workers' identification of social success with their jobs and city. In her 1978 book co-written with Louise Tilly Women, Work and Family, Scott examined the impact of the Industrial Revolution on women, which ended with the conclusion that the Industrial Revolution had not improved the position of women nor changed women's role within the family.
Reflecting her interest in European working class history, in 1980 Scott co-wrote with the British Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm in an article in Past and Present entitled "Political Shoemakers", which noted that a disproportionate number of 19th century revolutionaries and radicals were shoemakers. Scott and Thompson noted that shoemakers were often the leaders of protests in 19th century European cities, that shoemakers were overrepresented in left-wing parties and shoemakers tended to act as "working class heroes" who served as spokesmen for the working class. Despite the influence of the British Marxist school and Thompson in particular, Scott wrote that in reading The Making of the English Working Class, she became aware of how androcentric the book was as Thompson largely ignored the experiences of working class English women. In a review of The Making of the English Working Class, Scott accused Thompson of not only ignoring women, but also of creating a working class identity that was exclusively androcentric, writing:
"the organisation of the story and the master codes that structure the narrative are gendered in such a way as to confirm rather than challenge the masculine representation of class. Despite their presence, women are marginal in the book; they serve to underline and point up the overwhelming association of class with the politics of male workers".
Even as Scott praised Thompson for writing a book that put the English working class at the center of English history instead of the traditional focus on the upper and middle classes, she criticised him for maintaining the focus on men as the primary historical agents.
At the same time, Scott has been very critical of historians who focus on women's history, which she argues merely reinforces the traditional idea of the male "centre" in history as women's history treats the experience of women as being on the "periphery" of history with leaving the "centre" to the men. Scott argues that the two forms of women's history, namely social history and "herstory" histories are completely inadequate for explaining the experience of women in history. Scott contends that social historians, most of whom are Marxists of varying shades of red treat women as just another group exploited by capitalism and as such questions about the uniqueness of women as historical actors are ignored as the focus is on the economic and social forces. Likewise, Scott maintains that writers of "herstory" histories of naively treating everything women did in the past as positive and by focusing only on the experiences of women of "ghettoising" women's history as something completely separate from the broader story of history. Thus in Scott's view, social historians integrate the experience of women too much into the broader story while "herstory" historians do the opposite. Scott argues that only proper way of writing women's history is using the concept of gender.
Sex refers to the biological differences between men and women, whereas gender refers to the social roles assigned to the sexes. One's sex is biologically determined whereas gender is a more fluid category as ideas and ideals of masculinity and femininity differed from society to society and from time to time. In Scott's view, too many historians have confused sex and gender, taking the viewpoint that gender roles are all "natural" as the biological differences between male and females bodies have determined the roles of the sexes. Scott argues that historians who take this viewpoint are all grossly sexist as such a viewpoint assumes that men are "naturally" the dominating sex and women are "naturally" the dominated sex. Using transsexual people as an example, Scott maintains that connection between biology and gender is not "natural" and people's sexual identities are "constructed" by society and culture, not biology. Another example Scott has used in support of her thesis is how different societies have defined their ideals of femininity by noting that 17th century Europe was a patriarchal society where the ideal women was seen as submissive and docile to men whereas at the same time, the Iroquois Indians had a matriarchal society where the ideal woman was seen as self-sufficient and strong. Likewise, 17th century European women always wore dresses in public while Iroquois women went topless in public from the spring to the fall because for the Iroquois breasts were not sexualised in the same manner as was the case in Europe. In this way, Scott argues that the concept of gender is the best way of explaining women's history.
In her 1986 article "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis", Scott argued that by studying gender not explains women's history, but all history as well. Scott argued that the three existing approaches to gender were all flawed. Scott dismissed the "patriarchy theory" and psychosexual theories under the grounds that both theories assume that gender is based upon fixed biological differences between the male body and the female body while Marxist feminist historians like Sheila Rowbotham subsume women's struggle for liberation too much into a broader struggle against capitalism. Scott argues that ideas about gender are not fixed and are open to change. Citing the work of the French historian Michel Foucault who famously argued that all history is nothing more than a Nietzschean struggle for control of the human body, Scott argued that gender "is a primary field within which or by means of which power is articulated". Scott maintains that gendered language is the main means in which inequality has been and still is upheld in Western societies. In this vein, Scott wrote:
"...concepts of gender structure perception and the concrete and symbolic organisation of all social life. To the extent that these concepts establish distributions of power (differential control over or access to material or symbolic resources), gender becomes implicated in the conception ad construction of power itself".
In Scott's view, all social structures such as the family, the workforce, religion, class, education and the writing of history itself are caught up in ubiquitous web of gendered power in which inequality is upheld. Scott has argued that a common feature linking all totalitarian regimes, whatever it be Jacobin France, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran was and is in the case of Iran a rhetoric that emphasizes power as masculine and their enemies as feminine. Furthermore, all four regimes had and still have in the case of Iran an obsession with control over the female body such as imposing dress codes on women, banning abortion, and either forcing women to work in the case of Jacobin France and the Soviet Union or not to work in the case of National Socialist Germany and Islamic Republic of Iran. By contrast, Scott argued that anarchists in 19th century Europe who rejected all political authority were much comfortable with the equality of the sexes. For an example, the French utopian Charles Fourier who coined the term feminism in 1837 believed very strongly in the equality of the sexes and had a mystical attitude of reverence towards female sexuality. Furthermore, Scott argued that traditional Western concepts of gender have upheld the idea that men are the historical "centre" and women are the historical "periphery", and so the proper task for any historian is to study gender in history, which is the base that explains all. Once historians start writing such histories, Scott argues that it will be possible to expose and change the basically unequal nature of Western society.
Taking her own advice, Scott has sought to write such "gendered" histories in her books Gender and the Politics of History and Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Men. In her 1988 book Gender and the Politics of History, Scott expanded upon the themes she had introduced in "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis" to argue that gender was the "knowledge of sexual differences". Citing Foucault, she adopted his definition of "knowledge" as "the understanding produced by cultures and societies of human relationships" and that such "knowledge" was "not absolute or true, but always relative". In her essays "Language and Working Class History" and "Women in The Making of the English Working Class", Scott argued that during the Industrial Revolution, working class men created specifically male forms of protest and social organisation such as unions to protect their status as men vi-vis women, which had the effect of pushing women to the margins of society. Scott's most notable work in this regard is her 1996 book Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Men dealing with how French feminists such as Olympe de Gouges, Hubertine Auclert, Madeleine Pelletier, Louise Weiss, and Jeanne Deroin responded to the French Revolution and its aftermath. Scott argued that in 1789, the (male) leaders of the revolution in issuing Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen) created a contradictory image of "the citizen", an abstract, universal individual who possessed certain innate rights that no power on this earth could rightfully deprive this individual of while at the same time insisting that this individual who personified France was a man. Scott's thesis is that this image of the universal, abstract individual allowed French feminists to argue that Frenchwomen were citizens of France and thus entitled to equality, but at the same time the image of the universal individual as a man allowed Frenchmen to argue that the rights and citizenship itself was limited only to men. Scott argues this "paradox" of The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen as she calls it led French feminists either to making claims of the "sameness" of the sexes in order to claim equality or of the differences of the sexes to advance their rights to be citizens.
Scott's treatment of gender in Only Paradoxes to Offer touches upon a recurring theme in her work, namely how to celebrate the differences between the sexes while allowing equality between the sexes. In general, Scott has argued equality and difference are not contradictory and to achieve equality would mean having to ignore sexual differences. Along the same lines, Scott has been highly critical of historians of the American working class, whom she has accused of being obsessed with the image of "of a single prototypical figure represented in the historical subject: white, Western man". Scott's theories about gender have proved to be influential, and have moreover influenced the writings of men's history as well. Examples of the latter include the work of the Romanian historian Maria Bucur on the mostly male membership of the fascist Iron Guard and the British historian Robert Bickers whose 2003 book Empire Made Me about the life of the Shanghai policeman Richard Tinkler was a "gendered" history about how ideas of masculinity influenced Tinkler.
Scott's theories about gender and history have been controversial. Criticism has centred around her thesis about gendered language as a mean of social control has led her to neglect the experiences of ordinary people, that she has been far too dismissive of the work of social historians and she has "accepted Derridian and literary deconstructionism too uncritically". The Australian historian Marnie Hughes-Warrington wrote that such criticism of Scott "...are not without foundation" and Scott has embraced the theories of French postmodernists like Derrida and Foucault too enthusiastically, writing: "For instance is it true that 'there is no social reality outside to or prior to language'? Is it possible to distinguish between the objects of literary and historical study?".
In addition to her article "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis", Scott has published several books, which are widely reprinted and have been translated into several languages, including French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean. Her publications include The Glassworkers of Carmaux: French Craftsmen and Political Action in a Nineteenth Century City (Harvard University Press, 1974); Women, Work and Family (coauthored with Louise Tilly) (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978); Gender and the Politics of History (Columbia University Press, 1988); Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (Harvard University Press, 1996); Parité: Sexual Difference and the Crisis of French Universalism (University of Chicago Press, 2005) and The Politics of the Veil (Princeton University Press, 2007). Scott has also edited numerous other books and published countless articles. She is also one of the founding editors of the journal History of the Present.
Most recently, Scott has turned her attention to the current French politics, most notably the question of Islam in France. Scott has called the 2004 French Law on Secularity and Conspicuous Religious Symbols banning Muslim women from wearing headscarves in schools as a defense of the French principle of laïcité a racist law that only alienates French Muslims from their nation and serves to feed support for terrorism. Reflecting her interest in gender and power, Scott called the anti-headscarf law a reflection of a deeper cultural and political battle, namely how the French view sexual openness as the standard for individualism, freedom and normalcy and take the view that by refusing to conform to the French idea of sexual openness, Muslims are not and never can be truly French. Scott wrote in that in modern France: "As if to prove that women cannot be subtracted from their sex (men, of course, can be), there is a great emphasis on the visibility and openness of the seductive play between men and women, and especially on the public display (and sexual desirability for men) of women's bodies". Scott argued that this cultural code in which the ideal of French femininity as a sexualized woman has been elevated into a symbol of Frenchness itself, which is why Muslim women who refused to conform to the French ideal of women as seductive and sexualised are seen as such a threat. This cultural code of viewing women is widely accepted by Frenchwomen and Frenchmen with the French historian Mona Ozouf proudly writing of "singularité française". In France, the sort of woman who goes topless on the beach is seen as the ideal Frenchwoman as breasts are seen as desirable by men, and the woman who displays her breasts in public is seen as living up to the ideal of what a Frenchwoman should be. In this regard, Scott quoted the remark made by the French psychoanalyst Élisabeth Roudinesco who supported the headscarf ban under the grounds that the veil was a denial of the need for Frenchwomen to be "objects of desire" for Frenchmen. Scott later wrote in 2016 that is no accident that Marianne is often depicted bare-breasted regardless of where she is or what she is doing. Later in 2016, the French Premier Manuel Valls stated in a speech that the burkini swimsuit was an “enslavement” of women and that Marianne was usually topless which The Economist noted:"The implication seemed to be that women in burkinis are un-French, while true French women go topless." The French cultural code which celebrates female beauty as exemplifying everything good and great about France has often opened the door for sexual harassment as The Economist noted: "The cultural celebration of femininity in France, deplored back in 1949 by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex, blurs the lines and complicates judgment.".
Scott wrote that Islamic rules declaring that a proper Muslim woman is modest and rejects any form of sexualisation by forcing women to wear a variety of head-cover and/or face-covering clothing is another social mechanism for controlling female sexuality that is no different from the French ideal that all women should be sexually alluring to men. Scott wrote the Muslim approach of imposing modest clothing on women is based upon the desire to "club the dangerous sexuality of women" while "the French system celebrates sex and sexuality as free of political and social risk". In this regard, Scott remarked that how French Muslim girls in the lycées who worn headscarves were attacked in teachers' reports as not displaying a "normal interaction" with the male students by declining to be flirtatious, an expectation of "normal" behavior for teenage French girls that revealed much about the French view of women. Scott wrote: "The point was to bring Muslim women up to the standard of their French sisters (a version of the civilizing mission with all of its racist and colonial implications), free to display their bodies and experience the joys of sex -- as French society (women and men) understood them". Scott argued that: “The issue of covered or uncovered sexuality… was proof of the irreconcilable difference between the ‘culture’ of Islam and France”.
Scott has argued that current discourse in France in which rejects American multiculturalism as a recipe for chaos in favor of French universalism, and thus holds that Muslim immigrants only become "fully French" by totally repudiating their Islamic identity (and even then might be condemned to a marginal existence in French society) is motivated by racism. In France, the idea that one can have a dual or hyphened identity as in the norm in the United States is rejected by almost all of French people; in France, one can either be French or not French, and those who claimed to have dual identity are seen as not really French. Scott wrote in the United States it is acceptable to have an Italian-American, African-American or Jewish-American identity, but in France such hyphened identities are considered both unacceptable and absurd. Scott noted in the United States, one can list on the census form one's race, religion, and ethnicity whereas in France such questions are not listed on the census forms as officially France has no minorities and the only people living in France are the French. It is for this reason why the precise number of Muslims living in France at the moment is so debated. Scott wrote that this way of defining Frenchness presents Muslim immigrants with a choice of either becoming French or remaining Muslim. In this regard, Scott wrote the popular French view is that: “North Africans caused the racism they so resented. The conclusion, repeatedly, was that unless North Africans gave up Islam they could not become French”. Furthermore, Scott argued that the French media tended to portray Muslim immigrants as inherently backward, reactionary, fanatical, violent, and prone to criminality, in short a people who were "the Other", an alien people whose values were the complete opposite of French values, which makes it more difficult for Muslim to integrate into French society. Scott has noted that vast majority of Muslim immigrants in France come from Algeria, and argued in the 19th century, when the French conquered Algeria the French created a set of stereotypes about Algerians to justify France's mission civilisatrice ("civilzing mission") that depicted Algerians as a vile, filthy and viciously cruel people, a people both in need of "French civilization" yet at the same time could never really belong to "French civilization". Scott maintained the French mission civilisatrice failed in Algeria for precisely that reason as any Algerian who adopted the French language and culture expecting to become French quickly learned that in practice that to be French was to be white. Scott argued that during the 19th century, the French were prone to bouts of "Orientalism" with regards to Algeria-which was conquered in 1830 and annexed to France in 1848-seeing the veil worn by Algerian women as a sexual provocation to French men, and as symbol of the incompatibility of Islamic culture with French culture. Once it become clear by the end of the 19th century that the mission civilisatrice in Algeria had failed as it become evident that the Muslim population were not going to give up speaking Arabic and Berber in favor of French, the policies of Paris towards Algerians were based upon exclusion and discrimination, which led to the veil being widely seen in France as a symbol of Muslim backwardness, an all too visible sign of the "failure" of the Algerians to embrace the gift of French civilization offered to them. Scott argued that these 19th century stereotypes of Algerians, which were greatly reinforced by the bloody Algerian War of 1954-62 serve as the basis of modern French views about Muslims, as most French people even today automatically view the Muslim world via the Algerian prism.
Scott noted that the vast majority of Muslim immigrants to France live in slums known as banlieues notorious for their abysmally bad schools, a situation that successive French governments over the decades have done absolutely nothing to address. Scott observed that rather address the problems of poor education and unemployment in the banlieues, the French state had chosen instead to exercise power over Muslim women by passing a law regulating what they can and cannot wear at school, which Scott remarked revealed much about the thinking within the French state about the French Muslim population. Scott argued that through the ban on ‘conspicuous’ religious symbols in the classroom was presented as a defense of laïcité, that the issue only aroused in the late 1980s when Muslim girls started to wear the headscarves to school, and despite the French state secularizing the education system in 1905, for the entire 20th century it was not an issue at all that Christian students wore crosses around their necks and that as late as 2004 crucifixes were on the walls of lycées in Alsace. Finally, Scott argued: "This is perhaps another way of saying that all the attention to the inequality said to be the plight only of Muslim women is a way of denying persistent problems of inequality for French women—different ones to be sure, but inequalities which have not been resolved by law (the vote, changes in the civil code, parité) or other means."
Reviewing The Politics of the Veil, the French political scientist Cécile Laborde praised the book as one of the best in English about the affaire du foulard of 2004 that saw the headscarves banned in lycées, praising Scott for her "remarkable understanding of the complex layers of French political discourse" and taking the "discourse of French republicanism – its commitment to individualism, secularism, immigrant integration, gender equality – seriously, and brilliantly demonstrates how the wearing of the hijab at school was so problematic in France because it was interpreted as a threat to a cluster of core ‘national’ values". Laborde argued that the through the book "amply deserves the attention of French readers", Scott raised more questions than answers. In her turn, Laborde asked if Scott's demands for "tolerance" and " recognition" of difference in France was really the solution to the broader problems posed by a Muslim minority whose values are quite different from French values, and how much "tolerance" should the French extend to the patriarchal, sexist values of Islam. In a review of The Politics of the Veil, the American historian Beverly M. Weber criticized Scott for ignoring the French Muslim feminist group Ni Putes Ni Soumises, which supported the law banning headscarves in schools, claiming that too many Muslim girls were pressured into wearing headscarves by their families. Likewise, the Turkish feminist Irmak Ertuna criticized Scott for largely focusing on the French side of the debate, and giving short shift to those Muslim women who objected to Islamic theories about the need to control their sexuality. The British Muslim feminist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown stated that the French ban on headscarves was "unjust", but argued that the veil was a form of oppression for women, decried the increasing popularity of the veil as a sign of an increasing reactionary and misogynistic tendency in the Dar-al-Islam ("House of Islam", i.e. the Islamic world), writing the veil represented: "...both religious arrogance and subjugation; they both desexualise and fervidly sexualise. Women are primarily seen as sexual creatures whose hair and bodies incite desire and disorder in the public space." Alibhai-Brown dismissed the claim that the veil was a liberating device for young Muslim women from being objectified, writing: "That argument is appealing; but if credible, why would so many hijabis dress in tight jeans and clinging tops, and why would so many Muslim women flock to have liposuction or breast enhancements Alibhai-Brown stated that even in Britain Muslim women who did not wear the veil are subjected to violence from male family members while in Islamic nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and most of the rest of the Islamic world women who go unveiled are routinely killed for supposedly being a public danger, writing "This is not a freestanding choice – it can’t be."
Awards and Honors
She has received various awards, accolades, and honorary degrees for her work, including the American Historical Association's Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize, the Hans Sigrist Award for Outstanding Research in Gender Studies, and the Nancy Lyman Roelker Prize of the AHA for graduate mentorship. She holds honorary degrees from Brown University, SUNY Stony Brook, The University of Bergen (Norway), Harvard University, Princeton University. and Concordia University 
Scott's influence within the Academy has been extensive. She has played an influential role in establishing the careers of a number of prominent academics, winning the prestigious Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award in 1995. Among the students who completed their dissertations under Scott's supervision are Leora Auslander at the University of Chicago, Mary Louise Roberts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Dagmar Herzog at the City University of New York. The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University annually awards the Joan Wallach Scott Prize for an outstanding honors thesis in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Previously married to Donald Scott, a professor of American history at CUNY, she is the mother of A. O. Scott, a film critic for the New York Times, and the artist Lizzie Scott. She is the niece of actor Eli Wallach (her father was Eli's brother).
- The Glassworkers of Carmaux: French Craftsmen and Political Action in a Nineteenth Century City. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974; French translation, Flammarion, 1982.
- Women, Work and Family (coauthored with Louise Tilly). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978; Routledge, 1987; Italian translation, 1981; French translation, 1987; Korean translation, 2008.
- Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988; Revised edition, 1999. Japanese translation, Heibonsha 1992; Spanish translation, Fondo de Cultura Economica, 2008.
- Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man. Harvard University Press, 1996; French translation: Albin Michel, 1998; Portuguese translation: Editora Mulheres 2002; Korean translation, Sang Sanchi 2006.
- Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. French translation: Albin Michel, 2005. Korean translation: Ingansarang, 2009.
- The Politics of the Veil. Princeton University Press, 2007. Bulgarian translation 2008; Arabic translation, Toubkal, 2009; Turkish translation, Tabur, 2012.
- Théorie Critique de l'Histoire: Identités, expériences, politiques. Fayard, 2009.
- The Fantasy of Feminist History. Durham, Duke University Press, 2011.
- De l'Utilité du genre. Fayard, 2012.
- Scott, Joan W.; Conway, Jill; Bourque, Susan C. (1989). Learning about women: gender, politics and power. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472063987.
- Scott, Joan W.; Butler, Judith (1992). Feminists theorize the political. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415902731.
- Scott, Joan W. (editor); Alper, Benedict S. (author) (1992). Love and politics in wartime: letters to my wife, 1943-45. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252018770.
- Scott, Joan W.; Gilbert, James; Gilman, Amy; Scott, Donald (1993). The mythmaking frame of mind: social imagination and American culture. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN 9780534190385.
- Scott, Joan W. (1996). Feminism and history. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198751694.
- Scott, Joan W.; Kaplan, Cora; Keates, Debra (1997). Transitions, environments, translations: feminisms in international politics. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415915410.
- Scott, Joan W.; Tierney, Brian (2000). Western societies: a documentary history (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780070648449.
- Scott, Joan W.; Keates, Debra (2001). Schools of thought: twenty-five years of interpretive social science. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691088426.
- Scott, Joan W.; Keates, Debra (2004). Going public: feminism and the shifting boundaries of the private sphere. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252072093.
- Scott, Joan W. (2008). Women's studies on the edge. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822342748.
- Scott, Joan W.; Perreau, Bruno (2017). Les défis de la République: genre, territoires, citoyenneté. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po. ISBN 9782724619959.
Chapters in books
- Scott, Joan W. (2005), "French universalism in the nineties", in Friedman, Marilyn, Women and citizenship, Studies in Feminist Philosophy, Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 35–51, ISBN 9780195175356.
- "The Glassworkers of Carmaux", in S. Thernstrom and R. Sennett (eds), Nineteenth Century Cities: Essays in the New Urban History (Yale University Press, 1969), pp. 3–48.
- "Les Verriers de Carmaux, 1865-1900," Le Mouvement Social 76 (1971), pp. 67–93.
- "Women's Work and the Family in 19th Century Europe" (coauthored with Louise Tilly), in C. Rosenberg (ed.), The Family in History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1975), pp. 145–178.
- "Labor History in the United States since the 1960's," Le Mouvement Social, No. 100 (July 1977), pp. 121–131.
- Recent U.S. Scholarship on the History of Women (coauthored with B. Sicherman, W. Monter, K. Sklar). American Historical Association, 1980.
- "Social History and the History of Socialism: French Socialist Municipalities in the 1890's," Le Mouvement Social 111 (Spring 1980), pp. 145–153.
- "Political Shoemakers" (coauthored with Eric Hobsbawm), Past and Present 89 (November 1980), pp. 86–114.
- "Dix Ans de l'histoire des femmes aux états-unis," Le Débat 19 (1981), pp. 127–132 (translated into Spanish for publication in Débat, 1984).
- "Politics and the Profession: Women Historians in the 1980's," Women's Studies Quarterly 9:3 (Fall 1981).
- "Mayors versus Police Chiefs: Socialist Municipalities Confront the French State," in John Merriman, ed., French Cities in the Nineteenth Century (London: Hutchinson, 1982), pp. 230–45.
- "Popular Theater and Socialism in Late Nineteenth Century France," in Seymour Drescher, David Sabean, and Allen Sharlin (eds)., Political Symbolism in Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of George L. Mosse (New Brunswick: Transaction Books 1982), pp. 197–215.
- "The Mechanization of Women's Work," Scientific American 247:3 (September 1982), pp. 166–87.
- "Women's History: The Modern Period," Past and Present 101 (November 1983), pp. 141–57.
- "Men and Women in the Parisian Garment Trades: Discussions of Family and Work in the 1830's and 40's," R. Floud, G. Crossick and P. Thane (eds), The Power of the Past: Essays in Honor of Eric Hobsbawm (Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 67–94.
- "Statistical Representations of Work: The Chamber of Commerce's Statistique de l'Industrie à Paris, 1847-48," in Stephen Kaplan, ed., Work in 18th and 19th Century France (Cornell University Press, 1986), pp. 335–363.
- "Women's History as Women's Education: Representations of Sexuality and Women's Colleges in America," (Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 1986).
- "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review 91, no. 5 (December 1986), pp. 1053–75 (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Estonian, and Polish translations).
- "On Language, Gender, and Working Class History," International Labor and Working Class History 31 (Spring 1987), pp. 1–13 and "Reply to Critics of This Piece," 32 (Fall 1987), pp. 39–45 (Spanish and Swedish translations).
- "'L'Ouvrière! Mot Impie, Sordide...' Women Workers in the Discourse of French Political Economy (1840-1860)," in Patrick Joyce, ed., The Historical Meanings of Work. (Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 119–42. French translation in Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales 83 (June 1990), pp. 2–15.
- "Rewriting History," in Margaret Higonnet et al. (eds), Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (Yale University Press, 1987), pp. 19–30.
- "History and Difference," Daedalus (Fall 1987), pp. 93–118. "Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference: Or, the Uses of Poststructuralist Theory for Feminism," Feminist Studies (Spring 1988), pp. 33–50.
- "The Problem of Invisibility," in S. Jay Kleinberg, ed., Retrieving Women's History: Changing Perceptions of the Role of Women in Politics and Society (London and Paris: Berg/Unesco 1988), pp. 5–29.
- "History in Crisis? The Others' Side of the Story," American Historical Review 94 (June 1989), pp. 680–692.
- "Interview with Joan Scott," Radical History Review 45 (1989), pp. 41–59.
- "French Feminists and the Rights of 'Man': Olympe de Gouges' Declarations," History Workshop No. 28 (Autumn 1989), pp. 1–21.
- "A Woman Who Has Only Paradoxes to Offer: Olympe de Gouges Claims Rights for Women," in Sara E. Melzer and Leslie W. Rabine (eds), Rebel Daughters: Women and the French Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 102–20.
- "Women's History," in Peter Burke (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical Writing, (London: Polity Press, 1991), pp. 42–66.
- "Rethinking the History of Women's Work," chapter for Vol. IV of Storia della Donne, edited by Michelle Perrot and Georges Duby (Rome, Laterza, 1990; Paris, Plon, 1991; Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1993), pp. 773–797.
- "The Evidence of Experience," Critical Inquiry (Summer 1991); reprinted in various collections of essays, and in Questions of Evidence: Proof, Practice, and Persuasion across the Disciplines, edited by James Chandler, Arnold I. Davidson, and Harry Harootunian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 363–387. Spanish translation 2001.
- "Liberal Historians: A Unitary Vision," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 11, 1991, pp. B1-2.
- "The Campaign Against Political Correctness: What's Really at Stake?" Change (November/December 1991), pp. 30–43; reprinted in Radical History Review (1992), pp. 59–79; also in various collections of essays.
- "Multiculturalism and the Politics of Identity," October 61 (Summer 1992), pp. 12–19; reprinted in John Rajchman (ed.), The Identity in Question (New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 3–12.
- "The New University: Beyond Political Correctness," Boston Review (March/April 1992), pp. 29–31.
- "The Rhetoric of Crisis in Higher Education," in Higher Education Under Fire: Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities, edited by Michael Bérubé and Cary Nelson (Routledge, 1995), pp. 293–334.
- "Academic Freedom as an Ethical Practice," in Louis Menand (ed.), The Future of Academic Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 163–180.
- "Forum: Raymond Martin, Joan W. Scott, and Cushing Strout on 'Telling the Truth About History,'" History and Theory, vol. 34 (1995), pp. 329–334.
- "Vive la différence!" Le Débat, November–December 1995, pp. 134–139. "After History?", Common Knowledge, vol. 5, no. 3 (Winter 1996), pp. 9–26.
- "'La Querelle des Femmes' in Late Twentieth Century France," New Left Review November/December 1997, pp. 3–19 (French translation: Parité-infos, #19, Sept. 1997).
- "Border Patrol," contribution to "Forum" A Crisis in History? On Gérard Noiriel's Sur la Crise de l'Histoire," French Historical Studies 21:3 (Summer 1998), pp. 383-397.
- "Some Reflections on Gender and Politics," in Myra Marx Ferree, Judith Lorber, and Beth B. Hess (eds), Revisioning Gender (Sage Publications, 1999), pp. 70–96.
- "Entretien avec Joan Scott," Mouvements: Sociétés, politique, culture no. 2 (Jan- Fev 1999), pp. 101–112.
- "La Traduction Infidèle," Vacarme, No. 19 (1999).
- "Feminist Family Politics," French Politics, Culture and Society 17:3-4 (Summer/Fall 1999), pp. 20–30.
- "The 'Class' We Have Lost," International Labor & Working-Class History, no. 57 (Spring 2000), pp. 69–75.
- "Fantasy Echo: History and the Construction of Identity," Critical Inquiry 27 (Winter 2001), pp. 284–304 (German translation: "Phantasie und Erfahrung," Feministische Studien Vol. 2, 2001).
- "Les 'guerres académiques' aux Etats-Unis," in L'Université en questions: marché des saviors, nouvelle agora, tour d'ivoire?, edited by Julie Allard, Guy Haarscher, and Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (Brussels: Editions Labor, 2001).
- "Faculty Governance," Academe July–August 2002, pp. 41–48.
- "French Universalism in the 90's," differences 15.2 (2004), pp. 32–53.
- "Feminism's History," Journal of Women's History 16.1 (2005), pp. 10–29.
- "Symptomatic Politics: The Banning of Islamic Head Scarves in French Public Schools," French Politics, Culture and Society 23:3 (Fall 2005), pp. 106–27.
- "Against Eclecticism," differences 16.3 (Fall 2005), pp. 114–37. "History-writing as Critique", Keith Jenkins et al. (eds), Manifestos for History (London: Routledge, 2007), 19-38.
- "Back to the Future," History and Theory 47:2 (2008), pp. 279–84.
- "Unanswered Questions," contribution to AHR Forum, "Revisiting 'Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis'," American Historical Review 113:5 (Dec. 2008), pp. 1422–30.
- "Finding Critical History," in James Banner and John Gillis (eds), Becoming Historians (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), pp. 26–53.
- "Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom," Social Research (Summer 2009).
- "Gender: Still a Useful Category of Analysis?" Diogenes, vol. 57, no. 225 (2010).
- "Storytelling," History and Theory (Spring 2011).
- "Wallach Scott, Joan". Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
(Joan Wallach Scott) data sheet (b. Dec. 18, 1941)
- Robert A. Schneider, American Historical Association, December 2008.
- Bioraphical note, "Princeton awards six honorary degrees", June 5, 2012.
- "Wallach Scott, Joan (1941– ). French Social History, History of Gender".
- Jennifer Scanlon, Shaaron Cosner, American Women Historians, 1700s-1990s: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press, 1996, p. 201.
- "Sam Wallach (1909 - 2001)". Dreamers & Fighters.
- Hughes-Warrington, Marnie. Fifty Key Thinkers On History, London: Routledge (2000), p. 276.
- "Joan Wallach Scott | School of Social Science". www.sss.ias.edu. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- History of the Present.
- Joan Wallach Scott on Academic Freedom.
- "The Politics of Academic Freedom is the Subject of Joan Wallach Scott's Lecture at the Institute for Advanced Study", Institute for Advanced Study, March 11, 2011.
- "Joan W. Scott", Stanford Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts.
- Harvard Honorary Degree Profile of Joan Wallach Scott.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 277.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), pp. 277-278.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 278.
- Jackson, Louise Ainsley "Scott, Joan Wallach", pp. 1075-1076 from The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn (1999), p. 1075.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 279.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 280.
- Wallach Scott, Joan "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis", pp. 1053-1075 from American Historical Review Volume 91, Issue #5, December 1986, p. 1072.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 281.
- Bucur, Maria "Romania" from Women, Gender and Fascism in Europe, 1919–1945 edited by Kevin Passmore, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press (2003), pp. 57–78.
- Fang, Karen (Spring 2005). "Review of Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai by Robert Bickers". Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Hughes-Warrington (2000), p. 281-282.
- Wallach Scott, Joan (2007). The Politics of the Veil. Princeton, N.J., and Oxford, Eng.: Princeton University Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-691-12543-5.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 170.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 170-171.
- Rogers, Rebecca (19 July 2010). "Reading The Politics of Veil ". MRZine. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Scott Wallach, Joan (7 April 2016). "The Veil and the Political Unconscious of French Republicanism". Orient XXI. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "Ill-Suited France's Identity Politics". The Economist. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
- "Of Creeps and Crèches". The Economist. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 171.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 154.
- Wallach Scott, Joan (2007), p. 162.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 156.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 83.
- Wallach Scott (2007), pp. 7 and 70.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 81.
- Wallach Scott (2007), p. 70.
- Oden, Lindsay (7 July 2015). "Book Review: Joan Scott's "Politics Of The Veil", Racism And Xenophobia In French Religious Policy". Handsy Comprehensive Exam. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Jones, Jannine (9 September 2012). "The Politics of the Veil by Joan Wallach Scott". Not Even Past. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Wallach Scott (2009), p. 110.
- Laborde, Cécile (30 January 2008). "Review of The Politics of the Veil". Books and Ideas. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Weber, Beverly M. (April 2008). "Revealed by the Veil: Understanding France's Headscarf Debates". H-Net Review. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Ertuna, Irmak (February 23, 2012). "Review of The Politics of the Veil by Joan Wallach Scott". Dark Matter in the Ruins of Imperial Culture. ISSN 2041-3254. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin (20 March 2015). "As a Muslim woman, I see the veil as a rejection of progressive values". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- Honorary Degree Recipients 2007.
- "Honorary Degrees Awarded by Princeton".
- Past Recipients - Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award.
- Joan Wallach Scott Prize.
- "Eli Wallach, BA '36", Texas Alcalde, March/April 2000, p. 28.
- Joan Scott interview on Counterpoint Radio with Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities at the University of Memphis.
- Joan Scott's CV
- Pembroke Center News
- France's Battle Against the Burqa May 21, 2010.
- Joan Scott's faculty web page at the Institute for Advanced Study
- Joan Scott's biography at the Stanford Presidential Lectures site
- Interview with Joan Scott on BigThink.com
- Interview with Joan Scott at UC Berkeley on Conversations with History
- The History of the Present.