Associate Professor Jennifer Frost
PhD in US Women's History (Wisconsin-Madison)
I am a United States women's historian, focused on social, cultural, and political developments in the twentieth-century United States. My first book, An Interracial Movement of the Poor: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s, was published by New York University Press in 2001 and named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. The 50th anniversary of the events in this book prompted this article.
My second book, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism, came out in 2011, also from NYU Press, and was named one of the Five Best Books on Hollywood and Politics in the Wall Street Journal. You can read a review here or listen to this podcast about the book. Hedda Hopper's Hollywood is referenced in an article about the making of Trumbo, a 2015 film with Helen Mirren playing Hedda Hopper. You can watch the trailer for Trumbo here or listen to my interview on Radio NZ about the movie. Ten years on from the book's publication, I recently reflected on Hedda Hopper in the wake of the 45th president of the United States.
An anthology of essays, co-edited with Kathleen Feeley, entitled When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in United States History came out in 2014. Please see this brief introduction to the book and our television interview about the book. My newest book is Producer of Controversy: Stanley Kramer, Hollywood Liberalism, and the Cold War published in November 2017. You can read a review here or listen to this podcast about the book.
Research | Current
- Twentieth-century United States history
- United States women's history, social movements, and popular culture
- History of USA in the sixties
- History of Hollywood, politics, and celebrity culture
My focus now is on the campaign for youth voting rights in the United States, which culminated in the 26th Amendment to the Constitution in 1971. Forthcoming from NYU Press is "Let Us Vote": Youth Voting Rights and the 26th Amendment. 2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of this enfranchisement of 18-20 year olds, the last significant expansion of US voting rights and supported by a broad and bipartisan coalition. This 2018 opinion piece links this research project to current youth activism, particularly to prevent school shootings, in the USA. This 2020 opinion piece discusses the ongoing suppression of youth voting rights and how the 26th Amendment can be used to counter it. And this 2021 opinion piece marks Congress passing the amendment fifty years ago.
Teaching | Current
I am committed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, which began with a scholarly article based on active learning strategies I developed in the classroom while teaching in the United States: J. Frost, “Integrating Women and Active Learning into the U.S. History Survey,” The History Teacher 33 (May 2000), pp 321-328.
I also collaborated on a digital project for teaching and learning the history of women's suffrage in Colorado, which--like New Zealand--celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2018. This movement's historical lessons for politics today appear here.
With the help of a Teaching Improvement Grant in 2008, I conducted research on student assessment in History 208/308 on assessing student outcomes in history at the tertiary level. I have published three articles from this research; one is available here as a pdf: “Using ‘Master Narratives’ to Teach History: The Case of the Civil Rights Movement,” The History Teacher 45, 437-446, 2012.
Connecting my research and teaching on Hollywood film, a co-authored book, Teaching History with Message Movies came out in early 2018. Teaching History 111: Racial Histories furthered my interest in comparative New Zealand-United States history and led to this opinion piece.
Based on my forthcoming book "Let Us Vote!" and marking the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment this year, here's a post on resources and ideas for teaching this topic.
My courses include:
HISTORY 208 African-American Freedom Struggles
HISTORY 308 African-American Freedom Struggles
HISTORY 241 Making Sense of the Sixties: the USA 1954-1973
HISTORY 341 Making Sense of the Sixties: USA 1954-73
HISTORY 737 Rethinking History
Tim Lawler, 'The Relationship between Human Rights and the US Presidency' (co-supervised with Dr. Maria Armoudian), in progress.
Tessa Mazey-Richardson, 'Youth Suicide in New Zealand Aotearoa: a socio-cultural history of responses to youth suicide, 1960-2000' (co-supervised with Professor Linda Bryder), in progress.
Helen Morten, 'Dietary Advice, Health and Wellness in Late 20th Century New Zealand' (co-supervised with Professor Linda Bryder), in progress.
Josephine Olson, 'Postfeminism and Health: Body Management in 1970s Vogue (co-supervised with Professor Bernadette Luciano), in progress.
Jordan Scordino, 'Fighting, Surviving, and Understanding: Developing Responses to HIV/AIDS in New Zealand, 1983-1993' (co-supervised with Professor Linda Bryder), in progress.
Meg Williams, 'Constructing Racial Ideology in Aotearoa, 1880-2020' (co-supervised with Associate Professor Aroha Harris), in progress.
Nathan Hōne Williams, 'Growing Up Ngāti Kahu' (co-supervised with Associate Professor Aroha Harris), in progress.
Stephanie Yu, 'Lora Jo Foo: A Biographical Examination of Her Life and Work, 1970-2010' (co-supervised with Dr Melissa Inouye), completed in 2019.
Hannah Cutting Jones, 'Changing Foodways in the Cook Islands, 1870-1970' (co-supervised with Professor Linda Bryder), completed in 2018.
Rebecca Weeks, ‘American History by HBO’ (co-supervised with Dr Allan Cameron), completed in 2017.
MA and BA Honours students
Hanna Lu, 'The John Birch Society: Conspiracy and Conservatism in the post-World War II United States,' 1958-75,' in progress.
Lachlan Mitchell, 'Goodbye, Mr. Griffith: Student Activism Rejecting Birth of a Nation’s Racist Legacies,' in progress.
Tom Stephenson, '"Fire me yr cosmic data": Little Magazines of the Beat Generation,' in progress.
Tom Wilkinson, '"Who wants to go to the moon anyway?" : American Responses to Soviet Success in the early Space Race, 1957 – 1963,' in progress.
Lucy Waddington, 'American Media Portrayals of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp,' in progress.
James Brown, 'Reign and History' (co-supervised with Associate Professor Lindsay Diggelmann), completed in 2020.
Katie Cammell, 'The Motunui-Waitara Claim and Māori Environmental Activism' (co-supervised with Associate Professor Aroha Harris), completed in 2020.
Lucy Thorogood-Francks, 'Auckland History Teachers’ Association and New Zealand History, 1990-2019,' completed in 2020.
Ross Wardrop, 'The White House Under Siege: Bill Clinton and Surviving Scandal,' completed in 2020.
Maria Wheeler-Hughes, 'Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd: Man, Myth, and Memory,' completed in 2020.
Caitlin Abley, 'Rage Against the Mainstream: Subversive Journalism in American Underground Newspapers', completed in 2018.
Tessa Mazey-Richardson, 'American Women and Politics in Seventeen Magazine, 1944-1984', completed in 2018.
Hannah Smith, 'Self-Taught: Teaching African American History post-Brown', completed in 2018.
I serve as the adviser for the BA (Honours) and Postgraduate Diploma (Arts) programmes in History.
Areas of expertise
Twentieth-century United States history; United States women's history, social movements, and popular culture; History of USA in the Sixties; History of Hollywood, politics, and celebrity culture.
I recently co-hosted the 2019 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association (ANZASA) in 14-16 July 2019; the theme of the Conference was "Community, Conflict, and the 'Meaning of America.'" I currrently serve as ANZASA president.
I'm an active member in the UoA Branch of the Tertiary Education Union, former academic co-president, secretary, and member of the Branch Committee. Join us!
As a dual-citizen of Aotearoa and the United States, I'm a member of both the New Zealand Labour Party and Democratics Abroad New Zealand.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Frost, J. (2016). Jonathan Stubbs, Historical film: A critical introduction [Book review]. Film and History, 46 (1), 65-66.
- Frost, J. (2015). Putting participatory democracy into action. In R. Flacks, N. Lichtenstein (Eds.) The Port Huron statement: Sources and legacies of the new left's founding manifesto (pp. 148-160). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
- Frost, J. (2013). Challenging the "Hollywoodization" of the Holocaust: Reconsidering Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Jewish Film & New Media, 1 (2), 139-165.
- Frost, J., de Pont, G., & Brailsford, I. (2012). Expanding Assessment Methods and Moments in History. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37 (3), 293-304. 10.1080/02602938.2010.531247
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ian Brailsford
- Frost, J. (2011). Movie Star Suicide, Hollywood Gossip, and Popular Psychology in the 1950s and 1960s. Journal of American Culture, 34 (2), 113-123. 10.1111/j.1542-734X.2011.00768.x
- Frost, J. (2011). Hedda Hopper's Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism. New York: New York University Press. Pages: 304.
- Frost, J. (2011). Hollywood Gossip as Public Sphere: Hedda Hopper, Reader-Respondents, and the Red Scare, 1947-1965. Cinema journal, 50 (2), 84-103. Related URL.
- Frost, J. (2010). Dissent and consent in the "Good war": Hedda Hopper, Hollywood gossip, and World War II isolationism. Film History: An International Journal, 22 (2), 170-181. 10.2979/FIL.2010.22.2.170
Primary office location
ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 7, Room 721
14A SYMONDS ST