Judith A. Allen earned her B.A. from the University of Sydney and her Ph.D. from Macquarie University. After serving as Australia’s first endowed chair in women’s studies and director of the first Australian Institute for Women’s Research and Policy, she joined the Indiana University Bloomington faculty in 1993 as professor of history and the founding director and chairperson of IU’s Department of Gender Studies. Since 2014, she has served as a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, and she was named the Walter Professor of History in 2016.
Allen’s scholarship has transformed the fields of women’s history, feminist history, and the history of sexuality. Her prodigious work has advanced the understanding of women’s agency, professionalization of the field of women’s studies, and enhanced the study of gender and sexuality within the discipline of history. Her recent work on the life and work of Alfred Kinsey has advanced greater understanding of the work of Kinsey, the founder of modern sex research, the ‘Kinsey Reports,’ and the relationship between sexual science and society.
Allen has published 5 books (with 3 more in progress), co-authored 1 book, and has written nearly 50 peer reviewed articles and chapters. She has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; a Visiting Research Professor at the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research and at King’s College London’s Institute for Contemporary British History; a Visiting Scholar at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College, at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. Since 2014, she has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of American History, the flagship scholarly journal in the field of US History.
In 2020, Judith Allen received the Bicentennial Medal in recognition of her distinguished contributions to Indiana University.