Dee Povitz

Middlebury College
Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Sisters of Fire: Intertwining Spirituality, Psychology, and Feminist Politics in Jewish American Women’s Lives


Lana Dee Povitz is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College. Her research and teaching focus on US social movements and grassroots politics, women and gender, oral history, food politics, and American Jewry. She is currently at work on a historical biography of three sisters: feminist theorist Shulamith Firestone, psychotherapist Laya Firestone Seghi, and Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone.

Povitz received her PhD in U.S. history from New York University. Her first book, Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice, was published by UNC Press in 2019. She is co-editor of a special forthcoming issue of Histoire sociale /Social History on activist lives.

Selected publications

  • “'Nourishing Progressive Ideas in Dark Ages': New Left Solidarity Politics at the Park Slope Food Coop," Special Issue on Activist Lives, Histoire sociale /Social History (2020)
  • Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice (University of North Carolina Press, 2019)
  • "The Vital Relation: What Vivian Gornick Got Right About American Communism,” Los Angeles Review of Books (2019)
  • "To See and Be Seen: In Conversation with JEB," Feminist Studies (2018)



Delving into some of the most pressing debates within US history and Jewish history, and examining vital questions shaping Jewish cultural studies, literary theory, and social scientific inquiry