Moving On

I went to graduate school and all I got ...were these t-shirts?

 

I’m taking a break from packing boxes to show off two new t-shirts: one, from my first trip to the (16th Annual) Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the other, my official University of Chicago History Department Alumni t-shirt (not available for sale, they’ll have you know).

About that alumni tee? Yes, I passed my dissertation defense on May 19! So with that, Dr. Monica, Ph.D., will see you in Philadelphia on July 1. Now, back to those boxes…

Recent Publications

Spring Quarter is here, and with it comes my dissertation defense and move to Philadelphia so this space will be pretty quiet for the next two months or so. In the meantime, I’m happy to have some new writing out in the world:

  • ” ‘Have You Ever Read?’ Imagining Women, Bibles, and Religious Print in Nineteenth-Century America,” in U.S. Catholic Historian 31.3 (Summer 2013): 1-21 [link to Project Muse]
  • “Demystifying Catholic Sisters in a Digital Age” for Sightings [link]

See you on the other side!

“Research in a Digital Age” Links

unnamedAre you interested in making your research available to a wider audience using digital resources? Have you considered the possible benefits of using social media, blogs, or video to expand your reach? The use of online resources for academic and professional research purposes is a growing yet largely underdeveloped and oftentimes ambiguous field. This workshop will discuss different avenues for disseminating your research beyond the traditional route of journal or manuscript publication, why development of these skills is becoming more important in a competitive job market, and pitfalls to avoid…

[update: view my presentation on YouTube]

When the SSD asked me to participate in Friday’s Leadership Lab conversation, Research in a Digital Age, it provided an opportunity to reflect on the choices I made (and continue to make) about building a web presence and sharing my work online. The following links are a useful reading list for graduate students weighing similar decisions:

Have anything to add? Leave a reply!

“Lady Historian with a Futuristic Job”

dinosaurs!
“Are these Bryn Mawr Students America’s Brainiest Girls?” n.d., courtesy Heather’s Blog.

I’m delighted to announce that on July 1, 2014, I’ll be joining Bryn Mawr College Libraries as Director of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education – or, as a dear friend has described, “Lady Historian with a Futuristic Job.” [Then again, I recently found the women’s history website I made my first year of college, so maybe I’ve been a digital historian this whole time and I just didn’t know it!]

Readers of this site may remember I first got involved with the Digital Center as a presenter at the inaugural conference, “Women’s History in a Digital World,” last March. You can find my paper, and the work of so many brilliant people working at the intersection of women’s and gender history, feminisms, and digital history in the conference’s online repository – a part of the College’s larger open access project, Scholarship, Research, and Creative Work at Bryn Mawr College, which was established in 2012. I’m energized by the Digital Center’s mission, and I can’t wait to get started this summer.

For more on my appointment, check out the Digital Center’s blog: Educating Women. And be sure to follow the Digital Center on twitter (@GreenfieldHWE) – there’s much more to come!

Generations of Women’s History at AHA 2014

The AHA has come and gone for another year, and as I recover from the inevitable post-holidays/post-travel/post-conference flu, I’ve been catching up on some of the sessions I missed. Over on Prof. Hacker, Jennifer Guiliano posted a great recap of digital history offerings at the conference, asking readers to think critically about the frequent slippage between digital history and public history. It’s worth a read. [link]

This year, for the first time, I was able to attend the Coordinating Council for Women in History Friday night reception as well as the Saturday awards luncheon, where Crystal N. Feimster blew us all away with her talk, “‘The (Civil) War on Women’: A Case for Women’s History.” I went home and renewed my CCWH membership right away; 2014 marks its 45th anniversary year:

CCWH luncheon tweets

Continue reading “Generations of Women’s History at AHA 2014”

A “Desire for History” at UChicago

How does queer studies engage with the archive? Since 2007, students and faculty affiliated with the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality have worked to build archival collections documenting the experiences of women and LGBTQ individuals and communities at UChicago. This talk gives a brief history of the project’s origins in feminist and women’s history, and addresses what it means to once-marginalized communities to have a place in the University archives.

Last month, I had the chance to speak about our work creating a LGBTQ archive on campus for the University of Chicago’s annual Humanities Day celebrations. Watch, learn, and contribute to our project:

A “Desire for History” at UChicago

How does queer studies engage with the archive? Since 2007, students and faculty affiliated with the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality have worked to build archival collections documenting the experiences of women and LGBTQ individuals and communities at UChicago. This talk gives a brief history of the project’s origins in feminist and women’s history, and addresses what it means to once-marginalized communities to have a place in the University archives.

Last month, I had the chance to speak about our work creating a LGBTQ archive on campus for the University of Chicago’s annual Humanities Day celebrations. Watch, learn, and contribute to our project.

If it’s November, it’s Conference Season

NWSA WoCLP

Photo by Meghan McInnis.

It’s November, which means conference season is up and running! I had a great time in CIncinnati for my first National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting, where I took part in the Women of Color Leadership Project. That’s us above, ready to get to work on Day 1.

There’s always more work to do, so this weekend I’m off to the American Studies Association in DC, where I’ll be giving a lightning talk tomorrow morning as part of the Digital Humanities Caucus event “Digital Shorts: New Platforms of Knowledge and Dissent.” Follow along on Twitter: #2013ASA.

Of course, what would the weekend before Thanksgiving be without AAR? Luckily it’s in Baltimore this year, giving me the opportunity to conference-hop and catch up with American religion friends. There’s a hashtag for everything: #AARSBL.

Invisible Designs

This week, join graduate students and faculty at the University of Chicago conference “Invisible Designs: New Perspectives on Race and Consumer Capitalism,” organized by Ph.D. students Chris Dingwall and Korey Garibaldi. From the conference website:

Invisible Designs conference poster 2013

This conference takes design as an object and a theme to gain new perspective on the study of race in American consumer society. How has racialized imagery sustained the work of capitalism and American dreams of the “good life”? Considering design in relation to problems of self-fashioning, material culture, immigration, urban and suburban development, and decorative commodities, we will engage with the latest scholarly conversations about race and capitalism and explore paths for future inquiry. Ultimately the conference aims to uncover the otherwise “invisible” cultural logics and historical processes that have woven racial difference into the fabric of American life.

I’ll be presenting some preliminary research on first communion portrait photography and the material culture of Nuyorican migration as part of the panel “Life Design” on Thursday morning, October 24. The conference and related exhibition, “Race and the Design of American Life,” will take place at Special Collections Research Center at Regenstein Library.

View the full schedule and register online. [link]

On Childhood

Yesterday, Lincoln Mullen‘s tweets (and some great responses) about sources for the study of “U.S. children’s religion” got me thinking about the ways in which the projects I’m working on increasingly flirt with the small but growing literature on religion and childhood.

Certainly, for the middle-class Catholics I study, providing children with new, distinctively “American Catholic” reading materials was the impetus for a wide range of new publishing ventures in the 1870s and 1880s. [Some readers will note this is also the era of the Baltimore catechism, published in 1885.]  Right now I’m writing on Isaac Hecker’s lesser-known labor of love, The Young Catholic, a monthly paper for children founded in 1870, and edited by his sister-in-law, Josephine Hecker. Yes, that’s her here, documented in a 1957 issue of the Catholic comic book series, Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact (digitized by the CUA Archives).**

Image

The Young Catholic provided children in Catholic academies and Sunday schools with games, stories, and the chance to see their names in print — all under the warm, loving guise of a fictional editorial family: columnists “Uncle Ned,” “Aunt Jane,” and a host of “cousins” meant to be understood by readers as running the show (and providing Josephine Hecker relative anonymity). But back to Twitter. Lincoln made a good point point — we talk about children in terms of education, but how are they understanding religion? How do they participate in the making of their own religious subjectivity?

Portrait, 1950s. Collection of the author.
Portrait, 1950s. Collection of the author.

I don’t have the answers to these questions yet, of course, but the other reason I’ve been thinking about childhood lately is a conference paper I put together for the upcoming University of Chicago conference “Invisible Designs: New Perspectives on Race and American Consumer Capitalism.” Thanks to a cache of found photography and a personal interest in midcentury Nuyorican memoirs, I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the visual and religious worlds of Puerto Rican Catholics in twentieth-century New York. At the conference, I’ll be speaking about First Holy Communion portrait photography, and the intersection of religious and commercial impulses in El Barrio. And now that the Archives of the Archdiocese of New York is back open to the public, this conference paper may spin itself into an article…someday. I have a dissertation to finish, after all!

In Chicago October 24-25? Join us at Regenstein Library for the conference and visit the new exhibit, “Race and the Design of American Life.” The conference schedule is now online [link].

** More interested in comic books? Check out Matthew John Cressler’s recent RiAH post, and join me at Loyola next Tuesday, October 15, where Robert Orsi will lead a discussion of his chapter “Printed Presence: Twentieth-Century Catholic Print Culture for Youngsters in the United States,” in Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America (2010).