Dr. Rita Heller


Dr. Rita Heller

Academic Rank:
Associate Professor

Arts & Humanities

Liberal Arts

Office: DH 313

Phone: 973-328-5647

Education: Ph.D., Rutgers University M.A., Columbia University B.A., Bryn Mawr

Hired: 1988

To learn about Heller’s documentary on the lives of African Americans in the 1920s, click here.

Rita R Heller is an Associate Professor of History, who joined the CCM faculty in 1988, to create a Local History Program, in the Department of History. Dr. Heller received her B.A.degree Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College, Master’s Degree from Columbia University and Ph.D from Rutgers University, where her dissertation research was supported by a Bevier Fellowship and Department of Labor dissertation grant. The pioneering and influential Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, 1921-1928 was the subject of Dr. Heller’s Ph.D. thesis, the research for which also found expression in a National Endowment for the Humanities documentary The Women of Summer.

The San Francisco International Film Festival and National Educational Film Festival, and others, conferred awards on the film, which is now owned by nearly four hundred colleges, universities and libraries in the USA and Canada. Dr. Heller’s research on the Summer School is considered the definitive work on the subject, with the Bryn Mawr College Library serving as a repository for her archival collection. Dr. Heller has published in The Handbook of American Women’s History, Garland Press and Sisterhood and Solidarity: Workers Education For Women, 1914-1984, Temple University Press. She has also contributed to Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women, Scarecrow Press. At CCM, Dr. Heller was the Executive Producer of the documentary film, Chanceman’s Brothers and Sisters,The Origins of The Twentieth Century Morris County Black Community, which premiered on New Jersey Network and won a Black Maria Film Festival Award, a Cine Golden Eagle and a Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Jockey Hollow Foundation and the CCM Foundation supported the project.

The New Jersey Historical Commission honored Dr. Heller with an Award of Recognition. Dr. Heller is an avid historical preservationist who, as a member of her local Historic Preservation Commission, has received commendations from Bergen County. Upon graduation from Bryn Mawr College, Dr. Heller was named one of twenty Mademoiselle magazine College Guest Editors in a nation-wide writing contest.