As a historian, I study the role of gender and sexuality in forming and re-forming religious and intellectual communities in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States.
My current book project, The Young Catholic: Girlhood and the Making of American Catholicism focuses on the vast output of a vibrant American Catholic publishing industry, and the young women readers, writers, and educational institutions that grew up around it during the second half of the nineteenth century. I use books and reading to illustrate the formation of Catholic laywomen’s identities and highlight the role of laywomen and their daughters as makers of culture and status for upwardly mobile, second- and third-generation American Catholics. In the process, my research demonstrates the ways in which gender, cultural and devotional life, and class mobility were inextricably linked by the turn of the 20th century.
As I work on this project, I have also started research on the visual cultures of Puerto Rican Catholic childhoods in mid-20th century New York City (most recently for Smithsonian Magazine), and have written on the intersections of race, religion, and sexuality for the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History. Additional article projects in progress include an assessment of campus history projects as care work, an exploration of the uses of eBay for scholars of religion, and a consideration of contemporary “upstate utopias” in post-pandemic fiction and nonfiction, coinciding with my upcoming co-teaching project at the Oneida Community Mansion House beginning in 2023. I continue to consult and speak on bringing women, gender, and sexuality studies into public history and museum spaces, occasioned by the ongoing 2020 commemorations of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Following additional local history threads, I am also beginning research on the life history of Ella Harding — a nineteenth-century Catholic “spinster” school teacher from Auburn, New York — as part of a second book project project that will explore singleness as a frame for American women’s religious history.
3 thoughts on “Research”
[…] town, I also had a chance to stop in to the Wisconsin Historical Society, where I followed up on my research into Catholic women’s education at the turn of the century. I found exactly what I was […]
[…] Research […]
[…] well as library and archives jobs; by moving full-time into a History Department, I can return to my own research, instead of spending the bulk of my time supporting the research of others. It’s a […]