Graduate Program Field
United States History
Cultural; Intellectual; Legal
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1989
B.A., Northwestern University, 1984
Research and Teaching Interests
Przybyszewski is interested in how people have used the power and authority of the state in the name of race, morality, religion, or even beauty. The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan (1999) explained how the only consistent 19th Century defender of black civil rights on the United States Supreme Court justified his famous dissents, including Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Przybyszewski became intrigued by Justice David Brewer, the most-widely read jurist of the late 19th Century. Her article on Brewer, "Judicial Conservatism and Protestant Faith: The Case of Justice David J. Brewer," Journal of American History (September 2004) is part of larger set of projects on the role of religious faith in the legal thought of ministers, doctors, and jurists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She became interested in the work of home economists and their role in teaching Americans how to dress when she discovered that the USDA had published pamphlets on what to wear. She teaches courses on legal and cultural history, including crime, the gap between popular and academic history, the era of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, and the history of fashion and dress.
Przybyszewski’s book, The Lost Art of Dress, which explains how Americans learned—and forgot—how to dress in the modern age, was released in April 2014 with Basic Books. She will then return to working on a book project on the Cincinnati Bible War which broke out when city's school board ended Bible reading in 1869. Professor Przybyszewski has held several national fellowships, most recently from the American Council of Learned Societies. Her most recent publication is Religion, Morality and the Constitutional Order for the American Historical Association (2011).
Department of History
219 O'Shaugnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556