Dr. Eliza Young Barstow is a scholar of American religious history, with particular interests in gender construction and evangelical culture. In the past, she has taught introductory courses such as Introduction to Religion and World Religions, as well as upper-level courses focused on topics such as American evangelical history, gender norms within theologically conservative religious traditions, and the relationship between American religion and social movements.
Her book project, titled “These Teen-Agers Are Not Delinquent”: The Rhetoric of Maturity for Evangelical Young Adults, 1945-1965, investigates the advice theologically conservative Protestants offered to young adults during years following WWII. This time period was characterized by profound apprehension about juvenile delinquency, and evangelicals shared this concern. Drawing upon evangelical novels, advice manuals, and magazines, the project explores the ways in which evangelicals conceived of maturity and urged young adults to conduct themselves in the rapidly changing social culture of postwar America.
Dr. Barstow received her B.A. at Penn State, where she was part of the Schreyer Honors College, a program that allowed her to take small courses and live in a focused residential community for four years. Following her time at Penn State, Dr. Barstow received an MPhil at the University of Cambridge and then returned to the United States to study in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she ultimately received a PhD in American Studies from Harvard University. Prior to teaching at Ohio State University, she served first as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.