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Monica L. Mercado

Monica Mercado

Assistant Professor of History
History, 318 Alumni Hall
p 315-228-7516
In July 2016, I joined the faculty of Colgate University as Assistant Professor of History, affiliated with Women's Studies and Museum Studies. I currently teach classes in U.S. women's and gender history, local/public history, and the liberal arts core curriculum.

Trained as a cultural historian, I study the role of gender and sexuality in forming and re-forming women's religious and intellectual communities. My research centers on questions of women, girlhood, and religion in nineteenth- and twentieth-century North America (with a particular focus on U.S. Catholicism), and the role of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies in developing campus histories and public history sites and curricula. This work and my teaching draws on print, visual, and material culture studies, as I have spent much of my professional life in museums and archives, gaining experience with object-based pedagogies and collaborating with librarians and community organizations. 

In addition to my teaching and scholarship, I serve on the American Historical Association’s Committee on Gender Equity and the New York State History Advisory Group.


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


"Women and the Word: Gender, Print, and Catholic Identity in Nineteenth-Century America" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 2014)

Research and Teaching Interests

U.S. women's and gender history (colonial era to the present); history of sexuality; religion in American culture; childhood/girlhood studies; American Catholic studies; museum studies, archives, and public/digital history.

Colgate Courses

HIST 211: Women's Rights in U.S. History  
HIST 213: Women in the City 
HIST 304: Sex and Sexualities in U.S. History 
HIST 313: Upstate History  
CORE 152/FSEM 107A: Challenges of Modernity  

Selected Publications and Work-in-Progress

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

“Marion Talbot, Dean of Women: Mapping Women’s Higher Education,” in 
Mapping Midwestern Minds: Essays on the Intellectual History of the American Midwest, eds. Jon K. Lauck, Paul Murphy, Andrew Seal, Joe Hogan, and Gleaves Whitney (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press) [book chapter in progress]  

"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, expected 2018) [accepted]

"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): 1-21

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

Recent Papers and Presentations

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)

“Upstate Histories, Public Histories.” Upstate Institute Summer Field School, Colgate University (July 2017)

“Playing Catholic: Magazines, Drama, and the Education of Catholic Girls in Nineteenth-Century America.” Society for the History of Childhood and Youth Biennial Conference, Rutgers University - Camden (June 2017)

“Archives Praxis: Supporting Independent Study and Experiential Learning in Special Collections.” American Historical Association Annual Meeting (January 2016)

Grants and Distinctions

  • 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)

Digital History

  • Since 2015 I have co-organized the National Council on Public History working group Campus History as Public History. Follow our work on Twitter (#campushistories) and Facebook.

In the News

  • In conjunction with the Democratic National Convention, I spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper about college archives and the contested histories of woman suffrage (July 2016)