Catching up with the #Historiannchallenge

Sunday morning conversations.
Sunday morning conversations.

Over fall break I had a chance to catch up with my blog reading and found Historiann’s responses to James McPherson’s interview in the October 5 Sunday Book Review (or, what my graduate school BFF called  #whitemanhistorians).

Historiann came up with a better hashtag, and the makings of a project: the #Historiannchallenge. In “Historiann: The New York Times Book Review Interview,” Ann invited wider participation, and a recent follow up proves lots of us were happy to oblige.

The hashtag is still going strong, and now I’m inspired to power through my growing book piles. Here’s my interview, where I surprise myself with just how Catholic it is, and surprise no one with how many women are represented.

Continue reading “Catching up with the #Historiannchallenge”

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.

“Where We Are…”

* cross posted from Educating Women *

Bryn Mawr College driving directions (n.d.) in Bryn Mawr College Campus Maps.

Maybe it’s because I’ve only been here for two months, or maybe it’s just nostalgia for my own college days, but with Customs Week at Bryn Mawr wrapping up, and classes getting underway, I’m feeling sympathy for new students and faculty navigating campus. Even with ten days living in a Pem East single as a CLIR Fellow under my belt, I still keep a copy of the current campus map in my bag and bookmarked on my iPhone. (At least I’m no longer confusing Taylor with Thomas!)

I’ve also been thinking a lot about maps after taking my first introduction to ArcGIS mapping software last month, as part of a Mellon-funded Tri-Co Environmental Studies initiative organized by Swarthmore College. Over three days, I joined nearly twenty Tri-Co faculty members interested in the possibilities of organizing spacial data. With most of us new to ArcGIS, the workshop opened with two basic questions:

  • What kinds of spacial questions do you encounter in your research?
  • What kinds of spacial questions do our students encounter in their classes?

To put it another way, maps can tell us where we are, but can they tell us who we are?

Read more at: “Where We Are…”: Adventures in Mapping Bryn Mawr History 

A New Start: First Days at the Greenfield Digital Center

Book of Bryn Mawr Stories (1901)
Book of Bryn Mawr Stories (1901)

* cross posted from Educating Women *

I’ll be starting to blog regularly in my new role as Director of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education at Bryn Mawr College (where I will also be teaching in the History Department come January). My first week on campus has been a blur, but I’m excited to be here: #wmnhist everywhere you turn!

Read more about the Greenfield Digital Center’s current projects on the blog Educating Women and follow our work on Twitter @GreenfieldHWE.

My first post is linked here:

A New Start: Monica’s First Days at the Greenfield Digital Center

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!

“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”

“Collecting on the Edges” at Big Berks 2014

I’m delighted that a panel I organized for the 2014 Berkshire Conference on Women’s History (aka the Berks) has been accepted. Collecting on the Edges: Gender and Sexuality in the University Archive will feature not only our efforts at the University of Chicago to build new archival collections in gender and sexuality, but also the work of graduate students, faculty, and librarians at repositories including the Women & Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago, the Pride Library at the University of Western Ontario, and the Transgender Archives at UVic.

Through collection profiles and explorations of queer and archival theory, we will highlight how sexuality has been hidden in established University archives, and can become a new collections priority at our institutions. In doing so, we hope to explore issues of public engagement in LGBT history, the role of archives in mediating knowledge of this history, and the challenges and opportunities of partnering with University repositories.

See you in Toronto next May!