Lois Banner is a founder of the field of women's history and cofounder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the major academic event in the field. She was the first woman president of the American Studies Association, and in 2006 she won the Bode-Pearson Prize for Lifetime Achievement. She is the author of ten books, including her acclaimed American Beauty and, most recently, MM--Personal, which reproduces and discusses items from Marilyn Monroe's personal archive. In addition to her books on Monroe, Banner is a major collector of her artefacts. Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at USC and lives in Southern California.