Paula Fass

Job title: 
Professor Emerita, History, UC Berkeley

Paula S. Fass is the Margaret Byrne Professor of History Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught for thirty-six years. She has also been Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Trained as a social and cultural historian of the United States at Barnard College and Columbia University, she has over the last two decades been active in developing the field of children's history and worked to make this an interdisciplinary field with a global perspective. She was the President of the Society of the History of Children and Youth, which she helped to found, from 2007-2009.

Her books include Children of a New World: Society, Culture, and Globalization (2007); Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America (1997); Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education (1989); The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s (1977). With Mary Ann Mason, she edited Childhood in America (2000), the first anthology in children's history. She was Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society (2004) and in the past three years published two other edited volumes on the subject of childhood: Reinventing Childhood After World War II (with Michael Grossberg) in 2011, and the Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World published in 2013. Her family memoir, Inheriting the Holocaust: A Second Generation Memoir (2009) recounts and examines her experiences as the daughter of concentration camp victims eager to understand the history of her new country and culture.

Her new interpretive history of parents and children in American history over the course of two hundred years, from the founding of the republic through the global era, is entitled The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child (2016, Princeton University Press).

Paula Fass has contributed to many collections in areas such as education, immigration, globalization, children's history and children's policy. She toured Italy as a Department of State lecturer in 2006, and was Kerstin Hesselgren Professor in Sweden in 2007. She has also lectured in Germany, Poland, Chile, France, Turkey, and Israel. Paula Fass often appears on radio and television as a commentator on childhood in history and contemporary culture and has been widely interviewed on celebrity trials and the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

Among her various honors and recognitions, Fass has an honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Linkoping University in Sweden, and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (three times), and the Spencer Foundation. She was twice a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She is deeply honored to be a member of the American Philosophical Society.


Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa, Linkoping University, Sweden, 2008
Ph. D., Columbia University, American History, 1974
M. A., Columbia University, American History, 1968
A. B., Barnard College, magna cum laude with Honors, History, 1967