St John’s College and the Faculty of History are pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Knott as the Hillary Rodham Clinton Professor of Women's History.

Sarah Knott

Sarah Knott, currently Sally M. Reahard Professor of History, Indiana University, has been appointed to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Professorship of Women’s History in the Faculty of History. Professor Knott will take up the post with effect from 1 August 2024. She will hold a Professorial Fellowship at St John’s.

Professor Knott will develop the research and teaching of women's history at Oxford University. She has spent the last two decades in the United States, most recently at Indiana University as the Sally M. Reahard Professor of History and Senior Research Fellow of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Professor Knott is a social and cultural historian with a strong interest in feminist collaboration and forms of writing for academic and public readerships. She has authored publications on topics such as subjectivity, reproduction and care. Her most recent book Mother Is A Verb: An Unconventional History canvassed the history of pregnancy, birth and the encounter with a child and explored first-person writing. It has been widely reviewed and translated.

'In these times of political change, feminist inquiry is on the front lines of contemporary debate. Women's history is key to our understanding of experiences past and present, defamiliarizing what we think we know, and expanding our sense of the possibilities,' Professor Knott said.

'Hillary Clinton has a long history of supporting women's causes, and in endowing this chair shows awareness of the need for deeper knowledge. I am delighted to help build upon Oxford's important contributions to this crucial field in the humanities, and to open out new lines of inquiry.'

Professor Lady Sue Black, President of St John’s, said:

'We are delighted to welcome Professor Knott to St John’s. As a college with a very strong tradition in history and a firm commitment to access and public engagement, we look forward to supporting the further development of women’s history at Oxford under the auspices of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Professorship.'

Rob Iliffe, Faculty Board Chair in History, added:

'We are thrilled to welcome Professor Sarah Knott to the History Faculty as the new Hillary Rodham Clinton Professor of Women's History. Sarah has made an outstanding contribution to the subject through her wide-ranging studies of the history of motherhood, and she has exciting plans to develop the field in novel directions. Her appointment as the Clinton Professor confirms Oxford's position as a major centre for studying the subject, and we are grateful to the donors who enabled its foundation and who continue to support it.'

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Professorship of Women’s History was established in 2020, the centenary year of the admission of women to degrees at Oxford. We are profoundly grateful to the donors who made this possible and to the teams involved in establishing the Chair.