Virginia Scharff

University of New Mexico


Virginia Scharff is Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico.  Her scholarly publications include Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age (1991); Twenty Thousand Roads: Women, Movement, and the West(2003), two textbooks, Present Tense: The United States Since 1945 (1996); and Coming of Age: America in the Twentieth Century (1998); and the edited volume, Seeing Nature Through Gender(2003).  Her academic honors include being named  Beinecke Research Fellow in the Lamar Center for Frontiers and Borders at Yale University (2008-9), Women of the West Chair at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and a Fellow of the Society of American Historians.  She is President-elect of the Western History Association for 2008-9.

Scharff’s work-in-progress is The Women Jefferson Loved, the first major study of Thomas Jefferson’s female kin and intimate companions, to be published by HarperCollins in 2010.  She is also the author of four mystery suspense novels, written under the name of VIRGINIA SWIFT:  Brown-Eyed Girl (2000),  Bad Company (2002), Bye, Bye, Love (2004), and Hello, Stranger(2006).   

Frederick W. Beinecke Senior Fellow in Western Americana
August 2008 - May 2009
Visiting Fellow


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