Catherine Rymph

Catherine Rymph
Professor and Chair
107 Read Hall
Research Area: 
20th-century U.S. history, welfare policy, women's history

B.A., Indiana University, 1988
Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1998


Professor Rymph came to the University of Missouri in 2000. She previously taught at the University of Iowa and as Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Greifswald in Germany.

She specializes in recent US history, especially policy history, and US women’s political history. She has published on the history of women and politics and on child welfare policy.  Her current research explores child refugee programs in the lead-up to the Second World Warr.

Professor Rymph regularly offers undergrudate courses in twentieth century US history and US women’s history, several of which are cross-listed with the

Women’s and Gender Studies Department and/or the Kinder Institute’s Certificate in American Constitutional Democracy. She works with graduate students in a number of areas and was a 2019 recipient of the Gold Chalk Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Graduate Professional Council.

Recent Publications: 

Raising Government Children: A History of Foster Care and the American Welfare State (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).  Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2018

“Building the Republican Party and the Problem of Diversity, 1968-1975 “ in Seeking a New Majority, ed. Iwan Morgan and Robert Mason. Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 2013: 76-89.

”Looking for Fathers in the Post-War U.S. Child Welfare Care System.” In Inventing the Modern Family: Family Values and Social Change in 20th Century United States, ed. Isabel Heinemann.  Frankfurt, Germany: Campus Verlag, 2012: 177-195.

”From ‘Economic Want’ to ‘Family Pathology’” Foster Family Care, the New Deal and the Emergence of a Public Child Welfare System,” Journal of Policy History 24:1 (2012): 7-25.

 “Sarah Palin, the Republican Party, and American Politics.”  In Obama, Clinton, and Palin:  Historians Reflect on Historic Candidacies, ed. Liette Gidlow. University of Illinois Press, 2012: 137-148.

Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage to the Rise of the New Right (UNC Press, 2006)


History 2210: Twentieth Century America
History 3220: US Women’s Political History
History 4310: Historical Perspectives on Child Welfare, Adoption, and the Family
History 4220: US between the Wars: 1918-1941
History 4230: Our Times:  1945-present
History 4972:  Capstone in U.S. History

History 7220: US between the Wars: 1918-1941
History 7310: Historical Perspectives on Child Welfare, Adoption, and the Family
History 8210: Readings in Recent US History
History 8211: Seminar in Recent US History