Ellen Cantarow received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University. She has taught American studies and women's studies at a number of colleges, including the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. As a Radcliffe Institute fellow, she studied the labor movement and the women's movement in Italy. Cantarow has written on women in the labor force, social activism, and the Middle East. Her articles have appeared in The Village Voice, and Grand Street.