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Monica L. Mercado

Monica Mercado

Assistant Professor of History
History , 318 Alumni Hall
p 315-228-7516
Monica L. Mercado is assistant professor of history, affiliated with Colgate's programs in Women's Studies and Museum Studies. She teaches classes in U.S. women's and gender history, the history of sexuality, public history, and the liberal arts core curriculum.


BA (2001) Barnard College; MA (2006) PhD (2014) University of Chicago

Current Research

My research centers on questions of women, girlhood, and religion in late 19th century North America (with a particular focus on American Catholicism), and the role of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies in developing campus histories and public history sites and curricula.

I am currently writing a book titled The Young Catholic: Girlhood and the Making of American Catholicism, 1836-1911, which argues for the centrality of young women's narratives in nineteenth-century U.S. Catholic history. Additional projects in progress include an assessment of campus history projects as care work, and a history of women's presence at the Catholic Summer School of America.

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 my next book project, which explores singleness as a frame for American women’s religious history.

As the centennial of the 19th Amendment approaches, I am engaged in speaking and writing projects that assess women's history in museums, archives, and public monument projects.

From 2014-2016 I directed The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women's Education at Bryn Mawr College.

Selected Publications and Work-in-Progress

The Young Catholic: Girlhood and the Making of American Catholicism [book manuscript in progress]

“Summer School Girls: Religion and the Landscape of Leisure at the Catholic Summer 
School of America, 1892-1921" [article manuscript in progress]

“Taking Stock of Gender History at AHA19,”
AHA Perspectives Daily (January 3, 2019)

"The Politics of Women’s History: Collecting for the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in New York State," article solicited for Women & Collections, a special issue of Collections: A Journal for Museums and Archives Professionals
 14.3 (Summer 2018)

"Religion, Race, and Sexuality," in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History, eds. Kathryn Gin Lum and Paul Harvey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)

"Mapping the Women of Evangelical Gotham," review of Kyle B. Roberts, Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (University of Chicago Press, 2016) for Religion in American History (March 29, 2017)

"History of Women's Education Open Access Project," National Endowment for the Humanities white paper, co-authored with Eric Pumroy, Rachel Appel, and Evan McGonagill (August 2015)

"'Have You Ever Read?': Imagining Women, Bibles, and Religious Print in Nineteenth-Century America," U.S. Catholic Historian 31.3 (Summer 2013)

'On Equal Terms' -- Educating Women at the University of Chicago
, co-authored with Katherine Turk (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2009)


at Colgate University:

HIST 199: History Workshop (Fall 2018)
HIST 211: Women's Rights in U.S. History (Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019)
HIST 213: Women in the City (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018)
HIST 304: Sex and Sexualities in U.S. History (Spring 2018, Spring 2019)
HIST 313: Upstate History  (Fall 2016, Fall 2017)
CORE 152/FSEM 107A: Challenges of Modernity (Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2019)  

at Bryn Mawr College:

HIST B303 History in Public: Race, Gender, and Campus Memory (Spring 2016) 
HIST B332 Higher Education for Women: Bryn Mawr and Beyond (Spring 2015)

at School of the Art Institute, Chicago: 

SOCSCI 3520 Women in the City (Spring 2014)

at The University of Chicago:

HIST 28707 Queer on the Quads: LGBTQ Oral History at the University of Chicago (Spring 2013)

Recent Papers and Presentations

forthcoming "Plays for Young Women in the Convent School,” accepted for presentation at the Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious (South Bend, IN, June 2019)

forthcoming "Summer Camp: Rethinking Religion, Recreation, and Catholic Girlhood in Early Twentieth-Century America," accepted for presentation at the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting (Philadelphia, PA, April 2019)

“When American Religion Goes Digital,” University of Chicago Divinity School (May 2018)
Monica Mercado at Chicago Divinity School

 Newman Catholic Lunch Series, Colgate University (March 2018)
Monica Mercado at Newman Lunch

History Conversations, Colgate University (October 2017)
history conversation 103117

“Intellectual Catholic Women and the Fin-de-Siècle Girl: Singleness as Frame for American Catholic Women's History.”  Single Lives: 200 Years of Independent Women in Literature and Popular Culture, Humanities Institute, University College Dublin (October 2017)

Grants and Distinctions

Upstate Institute faculty research fellowship for "Women at the Catholic Summer School of America, 1891-1911," Colgate University (2018)

Bicentennial Projects grant for "Coeducation comes to Colgate: Campus History as U.S. Women’s History," Colgate University (2017)

Tri-College Digital Humanities grants, Bryn Mawr College (2014, 2015)

Women of Color Leadership Project, National Women's Studies Association (2013-2015 cohort)

Junior Fellowship, Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School (2013-2014)

Dissertation Fellowship, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, University of Chicago (2012-2013)

Trustees Fellowship, University of Chicago (2004-2009)

In the News

New York History journal adds advisory board of experts on New York State history (January 2019) 

State Museum Creates New York State History Advisory Group (February 2017)

College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education ( profiled by Women in Higher Education (August 2016)

"Many Women Paved the Way for Hillary Clinton," The Philadelphia Inquirer (July 24, 2016) 

"Historians Find Fruitful Terrain: Their Own Institutions," The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 21, 2016)