Irene Guenther received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. Her primary field is modern European cultural history, with a specialization in modern German cultural and gender history; her second field is modern American cultural history. She has taught at the University of Houston, Rice University, and Houston Community College, and is the recipient of four teaching excellence awards. From August 2006 to May 2010, she was a faculty member of Marquette University’s History Department in Wisconsin. There, she learned about the pros and cons of snow, basked in departmental collegiality, and received the 2009 Way Klingler Award, a university-wide award for research, as well as early promotion to tenure, which would have gone into effect in August 2010.
Dr. Guenther has published on the Nazi aryanization of the German fashion industry; the plight of cultural émigrés during World War II; the journey of Magical Realism from 1920s German art to 1940s Latin American literature; and the anti-war art of the second-generation German Expressionists. Her book – Nazi ‘Chic’? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich – won the 2005 Costume Society of America’s Millia Davenport Award for ‘best fashion history book’ of the year and the 2005 Sierra Prize, given by the Western Association of Women Historians. Her current projects include an examination of the trench postcard art of German soldiers (in collaboration with the Milwaukee Art Museum’s planned centennial exhibition on the Great War) and a book-length study on the hotly contested politics of clothing during the post-World War II occupation of Germany. Dr. Guenther is delighted to be teaching again for the Honors College. (Ph.D. University of Texas)