Faculty Profiles

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Joanne E. Passet

Professor of History

(765) 973-8569


  • Ph.D., U.S. History, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1999
  • Ph.D., Library & Information Science, Indiana University, 1988
  • M.L.S., Library & Information Science, Indiana University, 1980
  • M.A., History, Bowling Green State University, 1979
  • B.A., Education, Bluffton College, 1975.

Current Research Interests: 

Twentieth-century U.S. women’s history, history of print culture, history of sexuality

Book Publications

  • Passet, J.E. (2008) Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster.  New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Passet, J.E. (2003) Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women’s Equality.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Passet, J.E. (1994) Aspirations and Mentoring in an Academic Environment.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  • Passet, J.E. (1994) Cultural Crusaders: Women Librarians and the American West, 1900-17.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Selected Articles (Peer Reviewed)

  • Passet, J.E. "Hidden in Plain Sight: Gay and Lesbian Books in Midwestern Public Libraries, 1960-69." Library Trends 60:4 (2012): 749-764.
  • Passet, J.E. "Power Through Print: Lois Waisbrooker and Grassroots Feminism." In James Danky and Wayne A. Wiegand, eds., Women in Print: Essays on the Print Culture of American Women from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
  • Passet, J. E., "Reading Hilda’s Home": Gender, Print Culture, and the Dissemination of Utopian Thought in Late-Nineteenth-Century America," Libraries & Culture 40 (2005): 307-323. Reprinted in Libraries & Culture: Historical Essays Honoring the Legacy of Donald G. Davis, Jr. (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress and Center for the Book, 2006.
  • Passet, J.E. "Freethought Children’s Literature and the Construction of Religious Identity in Late-nineteenth Century America," Book History 8 (2005): 107-129.
  • Passet, J. E. "Beyond Berlin Heights: The Free Lovers in History and Memory." Communal Studies 25 (2005): 91-112.
  • Passet, J.E. "Yours for Liberty: Women and Freethought in Nineteenth-Century Iowa." Annals of Iowa 63 (2004): 137-169.
  • Passet, J. E. "Men in a Feminized Field: The Male Librarian, 1887-1921." Libraries & Culture 28 (Fall 1993), 385-402.
  • Passet, J. E. "Entering the Professions: Women Library Educators and the Placement of Female Students, 1887-1912." History of Education Quarterly 31 (Summer 1991), 207-228.
  • Passet, J. E. "Bringing the Public Library Gospel to the American West." Journal of the West 30 (July 1991), 45-52.
  • Passet, J. E. "Reaching the Rural Reader: Traveling Libraries in America, 1892-1920." Libraries & Culture 26 (Winter 1991), 100-118. Also reprinted in Reading & Libraries, edited by Donald G. Davis, Jr. (Austin: University of Texas at Austin, 1991), 100-118.
  • Passet, J. E. "‘The Open Door of Opportunity’: The Indiana Library School and Its Students in the Early Twentieth Century." Libraries & Culture 23 (Fall 1988), 474-492.
  • Passet, J. E. "‘The Rule Rather Than the Exception’: Midwest Women as Academic Librarians, 1875-1900." Journal of Library History 21 (Fall 1986), 673-692.

Selected Presentations

  • Passet, J. E. "Testing the Limits of Community: The Politics of Publishing Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence," 42nd national meeting of the Popular Cultural Association/American Culture Association, Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 2012.
  • Passet, J. E. "American and Vietnamese Library Education: A Historical Perspective." International Conference on the Standardization of Library and Information Education." Saigon University, Ho Chi Miinh City, Vietnam, February 20, 2009.
  • Passet, J. E. "American Studies Institute," a week-long seminar for the U.S. State Department’s Speaker and Specialist Program, Pretoria, South Africa, September 23-October 3, 2005.
  • Passet, J. E. "Sex Radicals in Rural America: Print, Power, and Community, 1885-1900," Newberry Library, Rural History Seminar, Chicago, 8 May 2004.
  • Passet, J. E. "Yours for Reform: Reconstructing the Life of Juliet H. Severance." Presented at the Library of Congress Symposium: Resourceful Women: Researching and Interpreting American Women's History, June 19-20, 2003. Washington, D.C.

Selected Grants

  • New Frontiers Traveling Explorations Grant, $2000, December 2010.

Selected Previous Employment Positions

  • Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Dominican University, 2000-2001
  • Director of Libraries, Bluffton College, 1998-2000.
  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Indiana University, 1990-94
  • Graduate School of Library & Information Science, UCLA, 1988-90

Selected Offices Held in National/International Professional Organizations

  • Member, Board of Trustees, Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, 2009-present
  • Member, Editorial Board, Indiana Magazine of History, 2008-2011
  • President, Indiana Association of Historians, 2004-05

Selected Academic Awards/Recognitions

  • Chancellor’s Faculty Scholar, 2011
  • Fulbright Lecturer to Vietnam, 2009
  • I.U. East Award for Excellence in Research, 2008
  • Trustees Teaching Award, Indiana University, 2005
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural and Diversity Enhancement Award, 2004