IAS Fast Track Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Marybeth Stalp, University of Northern Iowa, USA

26 September - 18 October 2015 

IAS Fast Track Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Marybeth Stalp

Marybeth C. Stalp is Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Iowa. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, English Literature and Sociology from Regis University in 1993, a Master of Arts in Sociology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Georgia in 1998, and a Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia in 2001. 

Stalp has authored the best-selling book, Quilting: The Fabric of Everyday Life (Berg 2007), and has articles appearing in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Leisure Research, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of Women & Aging, Sociological Focus, Gender, Work, & Organization, Sociology Compass, Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture, and Craft Research. In addition to being an accomplished scholar, Stalp is a decorated teacher, having received the following awards: the 2006-2007 University Book & Supply Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2008-2009 Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, and the 2011-2012 Excellence in Liberal Arts Core Teaching Award

Stalp’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, culture, and leisure through the life course in contemporary US society. She studies how aging women in traditionally feminine roles engage in creative work and leisure activities, also subverting traditional understandings of domesticity and femininity. Stalp has identified the concepts of gendered cultural production and women’s leisure as carework for the self, both as innovative theoretical developments, and fertile sites of further study.

Through this qualitative research, Stalp reveals social patterns in other areas of life, such as family, paid and unpaid work, and social relationships throughout the life course. Although women’s leisure quilting, crafting, and the Red Hat Society, seem to have little in common on the surface, those that participate in these activities face constraints from family and friends. Because we expect women to care for family and friends, when women are tending to their own needs via chosen leisure, they are regarded with suspicion by others.

From 2009-2012, Stalp served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, the leading international ethnography journal. Stalp has served on the board of the Quilt Alliance, and is a current board member of both the American Quilt Study Group, and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. Stalp has presented her research for local and global academic and non-profit settings. Stalp is active in the American Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, and Sociologists for Women in Society.

Professor Stalp is also an active and accomplished quilter, maker and crafter.


For further information about Dr Stalp's visit please contact Dr Ann Rippin (ann.rippin@bristol.ac.uk).