Before retiring in 2015, Deirdre Nansen McCloskey was Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previously she held positions at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago. Trained at Harvard as an economist (BA 1964, PhD 1970), she has written and edited 25 books and 400 articles on economic history, economic theory, philosophy, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, and law.
She has lectured around the world and held endowed positions at numerous universities, including the Tinbergen Professor at Erasums University Rotterdam, the Laura C. Harris Visiting Distinguished Professor at Denison University, an Honoroary Simon Fellow at the University of Manchester, and Fellowships at the Bellagio Study Center, Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University, the University of London, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Study, and the Center for Ideas and Society at UC Riverside. She has been granted honorary doctorates from six universities. She has also been a Phi Beta Kappa Lecturer, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and is a Fellow of the Cliometric Society.
Along with Samuel Williamson, McCloskey founded the Cliometric Society, which named her as the first annual recipient of its lifetime service award, known affectionately as the “Clio Can.” She has served as president of the Social Science History Association, the Midwest Economics Association, the Economic History Association, and the Eastern Economics Association. In 1987 she became the first American named to the Council of the Economic History Association.
McCloskey describes herself as a “free-market quantitative literary postmodern Anglican feminist Aristotelian woman from Boston who lives in Chicago.” Her latest book is Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (University of Chicago Press, 2016), the third volume of her trilogy on The Bourgeois Era, an ethical and historical and economic defense of the ill-named “capitalism” and an explanation of its material and spiritual effects.