Lauren Feldman is a historian and postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. She was previously a predoctoral fellow in the history of the Civil War era at Penn State’s Richards Center for academic year 2022-2023. Her work centers on intersectional histories of intimacy, and investigating the broad intellectual question about how norms surrounding relationships in the U.S. have been created and reproduced over time. She is particularly committed to demonstrating how matters surrounding intimacy shed new light on conventional “big-picture” questions of U.S. history and historiography.
Feldman’s book project focuses on the contingent process by which marriage and state became intertwined in the U.S., from the period of the American Revolution to the Civil War. Through an examination of debates over early American marriage laws, she historicizes marriage’s centrality to the formation of United States governance, as well as the implications thereof surrounding the creation and maintenance of a U.S. privatized social structure. As part of this project, she also works on the history of slave marriage in the United States.
Feldman’s work has been supported by multiple institutions, including the American Historical Association, American Society for Legal History, and New–York Historical Society, and has been published in the journal Law and History Review. She also serves as the project coordinator of JHU Hard Histories, a public history initiative that examines the histories of racism and discrimination at the university. Feldman defended her doctoral dissertation at Johns Hopkins University in 2023, and received her AB in history from Harvard College in 2013.