History Associate Professor

Office: 541-737-1266

Milam Hall

Milam Hall 303D

2520 SW Campus Way

2520 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Courses Taught: 

HST 203 History of the United States

HST 363 Women in United States History

HST 365 The Civil Rights Movement in the Modern U.S.

HST 415/515: Special Topics - Women, Gender, Politics

Research/Career Interests: 

Marisa Chappell specializes in 20th-century U.S. history with a particular focus on politics, social policy, and the political economy of race and gender.


  • Chappell received her B.A. from Emory University in 1991 and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2002 and taught at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Georgia as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the Oregon State University History Department in 2005.
  • Her book on the politics of welfare reform in the late 20th century, The War on Welfare: Family, Poverty, and Politics in Modern America, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in fall 2009. In spring 2009, Routledge published Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents, a book for undergraduate classes that Chappell coauthored with Premilla Nadasen of Queens College, CUNY, and Jennifer Mittlestadt of Pennsylvania State University. She has also published several articles on the topic of welfare, women’s poverty, and feminist politics.
  • Chappell’s current research interest is community organizing and grassroots campaigns for economic justice after the 1960s, an effort to uncover a hidden history of progressive activism in an era most noted for conservative political realignment and to explore the complex racial and class politics that shaped the political left at the grassroots in the last three decades of the 20th century.
  • Chappell teaches 19th- and 20th-Century U.S. History, 20th-Century U.S. Women's History, Sixties America, Poverty in American History, and the Civil Rights Movement in Modern America. She is also creating a public history project for undergraduates on civil rights activism in Portland, Oregon.

Select Publications

The War on Welfare:
Family, Poverty, and Politics in Modern America
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009)
 (Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2010)
 The War on Welfare
 Welfare in the United States
Welfare in the United States:
A History with Documents
(Routledge Press, 2009)

(co-editor with Premilla Nadasen and Jennifer Mittelstadt)