I grew up mostly in California, where I was born, but lived in Florida, Nebraska, Michigan, and Maryland before beginning my college education at age 26. My historical interests, which center on gender, race, and class relations in the 19th century South, were stimulated by growing up in the era of Civil Rights and the Vietnam War, subsequent experiences as a single mother, and my father’s Southern roots--he was born in the “Free State” of Jones County in southeastern Mississippi. My father’s influences, my extended visits to North Carolina and Mississippi, plus 20 years of living and working in Texas have made me a Southerner as well as historian of the South.
Educational Background :
Ph.D. - University of California, San Diego
M.A. - University of California, San Diego
B.A. - Chico State University
Recent Research Topics :
The connections between New South political radicalism and Civil War Unionism
The effects of post-Civil War violence and racial segregation on interracial communities in the New South
Previous Publications :
The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies, (University of North Carolina Press, spring 2010)
The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2001)
Film rights purchased by Universal Pictures, February, 2007
Unruly Women: The Politics of Social and Sexual Control in the Old South. (University of North Carolina Press, 1992) Winner of Phi Alpha Theta’s Best First Book Award, 1994
Awards and Accomplishments :
NEH Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars, 2000, to complete writing of THE FREE STATE OF JONES.
Phi Alpha Theta national award, 1994, “Best First Book by an Author,” for UNRULY WOMEN.
HIST 1310 U.S. HISTORY
Surveys American history from the sixteenth century to 1877, focusing on major historical forces such as European colonization, the American Revolution, immigration, industrialization, and the Civil War. This course emphasizes cultural diversity, approaching Americans as a people who share a history, but from strikingly different perspectives that reflect their experiences of race/ethnicity, class, and gender.
HIST 1320 U.S. HISTORY
Surveys American history from the post-Reconstruction era to the present. Reviews the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction and explores the political, economic, and social changes that accompanied industrialization, immigration, and geographic expansion. This course emphasizes cultural diversity, approaching Americans as a people who share a history, but from strikingly different perspectives that reflect their experiences of race/ethnicity, class, and gender.
HIST 3373 AMERICAN WOMEN'S HISTORY
Surveys the diversity of women’s experiences in the United States from 1890 and the present. The historic relationship between women’s behavior, public activities, and changing societal norms of femininity are given particular attention. Explores how gender distinguished women’s experiences from men’s, and how race, ethnicity, region, and class separated women from one another. Traces the roots of American feminism and explores implications for women’s roles in modern society.
HIST 4367 POLITICS AND CULTURE IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA
Studies the political, economic, and social transformation of the United States between 1820-1860. Examines the dominant forces and institutions of the era, including slavery, geographic expansion, industrialization, political parties, and reform movements, and their influence on the development of distinctive Southern and Northern cultures. Ends with an assessment of how modernization produced deep sectional divisions that propelled the nation toward the Civil War.
HIST 5366A WOMEN IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA - GRADUATE SEMINAR
Focuses on the intellectual development of U.S. women between 1820-1870 as reflected in the social, religious, and political movements of the antebellum era. Readings include several regional studies that analyze gender within the context of larger society, as well as several biographies of women who were in the forefront of major cultural and political trends. Traces the development of the field of women’s history in pioneering works as well as more recent works. Considers the impact of women’s history on more traditional histories of antebellum social reform, slavery, frontier expansion, and the sectional crisis leading up to the Civil War.
HIST 5366B THE OLD SOUTH - GRADUATE SEMINAR
Analyzes major works of history about the Old South, beginning with its colonial origins and ending with the Civil War. The course is organized both thematically and historiographically, meaning that both older, more "classic" works, and newer "revisionist" works are assigned. Considers how issues of race, class, and gender affected antebellum southern politics, economics, and culture, and the degree to which they have influenced the research techniques and the writing of twentieth-century historians.