Women of Faith: A Conversation with Mary Beth Fraser Connolly

As I wrote in my dissertation acknowledgements (coming soon to a ProQuest database near you), my research is indebted to the interdisciplinary circles of scholars working on American Catholic history in Chicago and beyond, and I have benefited from the friendship and community of a terrific group of young scholars in Catholic Studies, one of whom, Mary Beth Fraser Connolly, was kind enough to talk with me recently about her new book on the Sisters of Mercy.

Women of Faith: The Chicago Sisters of Mercy and the Evolution of a Religious Community (Fordham, 2014) is a sweeping institutional history that, in many ways, revives my interest in the genre of institutional history.

To read my conversation with Mary Beth about research, writing, and women religious, visit Religion in American HistoryWomen of Faith: A Conversation with Mary Beth Fraser Connolly.

Upcoming Engagements (or, Where to Find Me)

It’s September, and with the last of my summer travel behind me, I’m starting to refocus on the mission of the Greenfield Digital Center and getting our work out into the world. So there’s a new page on this site: Upcoming Engagements. I might be talking about oral history, social media, and/or the digital humanities in a city near you over the next year, so let’s connect!

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…

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.

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]

Expose Yourself! Research Talk

This Thursday, May 2, I will speak about my research on nineteenth-century U.S. religious publishing and women readers as part of the University of Chicago’s Office of Graduate Student Affairs tour of Special Collections Research Center. For more on the evening’s program, visit Expose Yourself!

Register for the event online here.