Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff has been an Associate Professor of History at the University of South Carolina since 2005 as a leading scholar of American cultural history. Her areas of research include all elements of popular culture, and the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S.. She graduated from Wellesley College and received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia.
Her first book, Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt Era, explained the government’s extensive use of racially-oriented cultural programs during the Depression and World War II. She won the Organization of American Historian’s esteemed Louis Pelzer Memorial Award for her essay on the boxer Joe Louis. Her professional memberships include the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the Association for Jewish Studies. Dr. Sklaroff now serves as the Chair of the Organization of American Historian’s Lawrence Levine Prize Committee for the Best Book in Cultural History.
She is now writing a biography of Sophie Tucker, Wanting to Be Wanted: Sophie Tucker and the Creation of a Show Business Legend, based on years of research in the Sophie Tucker Scrapbook Collection at the New York Public Library, as well as several other prominent archives relating to popular culture, Jewish History, and African American History. The project is supported by a fellowship from the New York Public Library as well as the University of South Carolina Provost Humanities Grant.