Stephanie Camp, University of Washington associate professor of history, died on Wednesday, April 2. She will be remembered as a beloved mother and friend, and a leading feminist historian. She was 46.
The Department of History will host a memorial service and reception in remembrance and celebration of Camp’s life at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8, in Kane Hall room 210.
Camp, the Donald W. Logan Family Endowed Chair in American History, studied African-Americans, slavery, the American South and women and gender, as well as beauty and the body. “Running throughout my teaching and my research is a strong interest in the social and cultural history of the body,” Camp stated on her faculty web page, “including its uses as an index of social power and powerlessness, a political resource and an instrument of cultural pleasure.”
In 2004, University of North Carolina Press published Camp’s book, “Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South” to critical acclaim.
A reviewer for the Journal of Southern History wrote, “Camp moves historical analysis beyond agency and resistance to create an in-depth picture of the process of slavery and the way that slaves carved out lives filled with political and personal meaning. … It will make all readers rethink how we understand women’s lives under slavery, how we understand the historical significance of space, and how we conceptualize the process of slavery itself.”
In an interview about how she came to be a historian, Camp said, “I was not a history major in undergrad, and it took me a few years to find my way to it. But I was drawn to the possibilities for storytelling and also to its rigor and discipline.”
Colleague Jordanna Bailkin, professor of British history, told the Seattle Times that Camp was a great listener, and added “I think a lot of the qualities that made her a wonderful historian also made her a great friend.”
The history department has opened the Stephanie M. H. Camp Lecture Fund for the History of Race & Gender. Donations may be sent to the UW Department of History, Campus box 353560, Seattle, WA 98195-3560.