Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

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The intersection between Spanish-bilingual education and sex education might not be immediately apparent. Yet, as Natalia Mehlman Petrzela shows in her new book, Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture (Oxford University Press, 2015), the meeting between these two paradigms of education firmly connects in California during the 1960s and 70s. Under the backdrop of California during an era of the sexual revolution, a dramatic influx of Latinos, and awakened protest movements, Dr. Petrzela, assistant professor at The New School, explores this historical landscape of education and society. From well-known political icons like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, to lesser-known figures such as Ernesto Galarza, and even details from regular people who lived the moment, Classroom Wars provides an in-depth and nuanced look into this interesting intersection in American educational history.

Dr. Petrzela joins New Books in Education for the interview and you can follow her on Twitter at @nataliapetrzela or find her website at For questions or comments on the podcast, you can also find the host on Twitter at @PoliticsAndEd.


Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid HenryFeminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements

March 21, 2015

Our guest today, Linda Gordon, is professor of history and humanities as New York University. Gordon and her co-authors Dorothy Sue Cobble and Astrid Henry have written Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements (Liveright, 2014). The book documents the women’s movement since the winning of the franchise in 1920. Its aim is to recapture feminism as […]

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Michelle NickersonMothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right

March 18, 2015

Recently, historians have shown that the modern conservative movement is older and more complex than has often been assumed by either liberals or historians. Michelle Nickerson’s book, Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton University Press, 2012) expands that literature even further, demonstrating not only the longer roots of conservative interest in family issues, […]

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Helena GurfinkelOutlaw Fathers in Victorian and Modern British Literature: Queering Patriarchy

March 16, 2015

What is a father? In Outlaw Fathers in Victorian and Modern British Literature: Queering Patriarchy (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2014), Helena Gurfinkel offers an insightful new vision of fatherhood through an engagement with English literature, Freudian psychoanalysis and queer theory. The book takes a range of authors who have depicted ideas of fatherhood, patriarchal relations and homosociality along with […]

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Donna J. DruckerThe Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge

March 10, 2015

Donna J. Drucker is a guest professor at Darmstadt Technical University in Germany. Her book The Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge (University of Pittsburg Press, 2014) is an in-depth and detailed study of Kinsey’s scientific approach. The book examines his career and method of gathering vast amounts of data, identifying […]

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Victoria HesfordFeeling Women’s Liberation

March 6, 2015

Victoria Hesford is an associated professor of Women and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University in New York. Her book Feeling Women’s Liberation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the pivotal year of 1970 as defining the meaning of “women’s liberation.” Applying a theory of emotions to the rhetoric of mass media and the response of movement […]

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Norma Jones, Maja-Bajac-Carter, Bob Batchelor, eds.Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture

February 25, 2015

[Cross-posted form New Books in Film] While there are a number of studies of how women are represented in popular culture, Norma Jones, Maja Bajac-Carter, Bob Batchelor’s collection of essays Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014) looks at the heroine. From discussions of traditional characters such as Wonder Woman and Buffy, The […]

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Kimberly A. HamlinFrom Eve to Evolution: Darwin, Science, and Women’s Rights in Gilded Age America

February 23, 2015

Kimberly A. Hamlin is an associate professor in American Studies and history at Miami University in Oxford Ohio. Her book from Eve to Evolution: Darwin, Science and Women’s Rights in Gilded Age in America  (University of Chicago Press, 2014), provides a history of how a group of women’s rights advocates turned to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory […]

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Alina García-LapuertaLa Belle Creole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris

February 18, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Biography] One of the fundamental functions of biography is the preservation of stories. But it also acts to resurrect the stories that may have fallen from view, reinvigorating the tales of people who, with the passage of time, have become merely names on plaques. In La Belle Creole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated […]

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Deana A. RohlingerAbortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America

February 16, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Deana A. Rohlinger has just written Abortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Rohlinger is associate professor of sociology at Florida State University. In the last several weeks, the podcast has featured a variety of political scientists who study interest groups and social movements. This week, Deana […]

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