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Haverford College
Department of History

Emma Lapsansky

Professor of History and Curator of the Quaker Collection

Office: Magill Library
Phone: 610.896.1274




Professor Lapsansky teaches courses in American history, specializing in Quaker history and popular culture in 19th-century America. Her courses examine the relationship between religious movements and political and social life. Recently, Professor Lapsansky has developed a set of courses that explore the history and theory of social “class”, especially as class is conceptualized and portrayed in documentary films. She also teaches history courses in the college writing program.


Lapsansky's new research focuses on how American Quaker families and communities have maintained cohesiveness in the wake of nineteenth-century theological schisms, and the internal controversies engendered by Friends various responses to the American Civil War and to subsequent challenges to their historic peace testimony and social responsibility concerns? Through the lens of a braided intergenerational biography of a Bryn Mawr Quaker family, this study will explore these questions.

Recent publications


  • Quaker Aesthetics: Reflections on a Quaker Ethic in American Design and Consumption, 1720-1920, eds. Emma Lapsansky and Anne A. Verplanck (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003).