Amy Rutenberg

Associate Professor and Coordinator, Social Studies Education Program


Office:617 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


In the broadest terms, my research focuses on the relationships among war, gender, militarization, and American society in the second half of the twentieth century. My first book, Rough Draft: Cold War Military Manpower Policy and the Origins of Vietnam-Era Draft Resistance (Cornell University Press, 2019), explores how the policy community’s assumptions about gender, race, class, and the Cold War led it to target working-class and minority men for the draft and middle-class, white men for deferments in the years leading up the Vietnam War. My work has appeared in Cold War History, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.

I am currently working on two projects. The first is a book on peace activism and military service between the 1970s and the early 2000s. I am interested in how activists understood their actions, how policy-makers understood that activism, and the question of how we define “success” in such activism. After all, how does one measure “success” if success means wars not fought or military enlistments not completed?

The second project is an oral history of 9/11 and its impact on the micro-generation sandwiched between Gen X and Millennials, tentatively titled Half a Lifetime Ago.

I coordinate the secondary social studies education program in alternate years, and I am always happy to answer questions from students considering the profession of teaching.

I am also the Equity Advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns relating to equity and recruitment or retention of faculty at ISU.