Adjunct Assistant Profesor
Room number
8.65.03; 8.65.01
1998 PhD
1988 MPhil
1985 AM
1983 AB
Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University
Dartmouth College

Elizabeth Bainum Hovey, PhD, lived in the Midwest, New England and California prior to attending Dartmouth College where she majored in history and graduated with honors.  Having acquired a secondary teaching credential as an undergraduate, she taught public middle school in California before coming to New York City where she earned her doctorate in United States History at Columbia University while doing research for the MTA and working as support staff in law firms.  She taught history as a TA at Columbia and joined CUNY faculty when she began 6 years of teaching in the Sabbatical Program for New York City teachers at LaGuardia Community College.  

Dr. Hovey was University of Wisconsin Law School's Legal History Fellow for the 1994-95 year.  After receiving her degree in 1998, she worked for the History Channel and A&E Television before returning to teaching.

She has taught in the History Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice since August, 2000. Her research principally centers on the intersection between the law, as one privileged construction of values, and actual social life.  In this vein, she has explored at length the history of the enforcement of obscenity laws, particularly in New York during the late 19th century and early 20th century.  This subject, and the transformation of the city’s and eventually the nation’s culture in that era will be the focus of her first book, provisionally titled “Stamping Out Smut.” Dr. Hovey’s other interests include McCarthy era legislation and its myriad consequences, intended and otherwise, and the history of public space and constitutional law.

Since 2010, Dr. Hovey has appreciated and used Reacting to the Past games in almost all of her classes.  She is happy to have taught History of Crime in New York, History of the Medieval World, History of Criminal Justice, Reacting to the Past, History of Ancient Religions, Justice & Inequality, Perspectives from the Past and the History of New York.  

Dr. Hovey is presently the Secretary of the John Jay Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY and has served on its Executive Committee since 2014.  She is always best reached by text at 646 872-0863.

Scholarly Work

"Obscenity's Meaning, Smut-Fighters and Contraception: 1872-1936," San Diego Law Review (Vol 29, No. 1), Winter 1992.

Research Summary

"Stamping out Smut:  The Enforcement of Obscenity Laws, 1872-1915." Dissertation at Columbia University.

"From 'The People' to the Courts: The Lifespan of California's Loyalty Oath for Churches." Masters thesis at Columbia University.