​Field: History of Childhood and Youth, African American History,
U.S. Women and Gender History

Contact Info:

2127 JFSB
(801) 422-1594​​

Current Classes:​

  • Hist 384: United States Women’s History​​
  • Hist 390R: Special Topi​cs
Classes Taught:
  • Hist 200: Historian's Craft
  • Hist 221: The United States Since 1877
  • Hist 383: African American History, 1865 to Present
  • Hist 384: United States Women’s History
  • Hist 390R: Special Topics in History
  • Hist 490: Research Seminar
  • Women's Studies 392R: WS Colloquium
  • Women's Studies 492: WS Capstone



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More Than Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream


Additional Information:

  • ​History Professor Rebecca de Schweinitz talks about her involvement with the new American Girl doll with BYU Radio's Julie Rose.  
  • Dr. de Schweinitz recently helped create a new American Girl character. Find out more about it here ​(KSL interview) and here (BYU radio interview with Julie Rose). 
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Associate Professor of History


Rebecca de Schweinitz  joined the History Department at Brigham Young University in 2006. She received her PhD in history from the University of Virginia in 2004 where her dissertation was nominated for the Allen Nevins Prize and was a runner-up for the Southern History Association’s C. Van Woodward Prize. She has been a fellow at Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and has received numerous grants and fellowships from the University of Virginia and BYU’s College of Family Home and Social Sciences, Family Studies Center, and Women’s Research Institute. Professor de Schweintiz has been an Executive Board member of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth, of which she is a founding member, was named BYU’s American Studies “Professor of the Year” in 2010, and serves on BYU's Women's Studies Executive Board. She is the author of several articles, book chapters, and If We Could Change the World: Young People and America’s Long Struggle for Racial Equality (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009). This book examines how shifting notions of childhood and children’s rights influenced the struggle for racial equality in 20th century America. It also considers the vital role of young people in the civil rights movement from the 1930s to the mid-1960s.

Professor de Schweinitz's current research project grew out of her interests in shifting conceptions of youth and young people’s political activism for civil rights. Tentatively entitled, A Quiet Revolution? Youth, Vote 18, and the Expansion of American Democracy, this project examines the movement to lower the voting age in the United States to eighteen, challenging  assumptions about the 18-year-old vote as a top-down movement whereby political leaders “gave” youth the right to vote in order to appease them, and as having little impact on American politics. Her recent article, "'The Proper Age for Suffrage': Vote 18 and the Politics of Age From World War II to the Age of Aquarius," in Age in America: The Colonial Era to the Present (NYU Press, 2015), draws from her research for this project. Another recent article, "Holding on to the "Chosen Generation": The Mormon Battle for Youth in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s," in Out of Obscurity: Mormonism Since 1945 (Oxford, 2016) explores youth history in this period from another angle. 

Professor de Schweinitz hails from Fairbanks, Alaska. She has also lived in Japan, Virginia, Maine, and Oregon. She and her husband Peter, who works in public health and family medicine, have three children.