Dr. Catherine Kerrison
Associate Professor

St. Augustine Center 436
Phone: (610) 519-4660

Email: catherine.kerrison@villanova.edu


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Teaching and professional interests

U.S. History, precontact to 1877

Women in Early America (Precontact to 1860),

Colonial America

Revolutionary America

Gender and Race in Early America

Print Culture in the Anglo-Atlantic World

Early American Intellectual History

Courses regularly taught


Investigating U.S. History to1877

Colonial America

Revolutionary and Federalist America

Women in American History

History of Sexuality in America

Gender and Race at Monticello

Gender and Conquest in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800

Seminar in Historical Methodology



Colonial America

Revolutionary and Federalist America

American Women and Gender History

American Historiography

Principal publications

Jefferson's Daughters (forthcoming, Ballantine Books, 2016)

“Harriet Hemings: Daughter of the President's Slave,” in Cynthia Kierner and Sandra Treadway, eds., Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times (University of Georgia Press, 2015), vol 1., 222-243.

“The French Education of Martha Jefferson Randolph,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal v. 11, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 349-394.

“Sally Hemings,” in Francis D. Cogliano, ed., A Companion to Thomas Jefferson (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2011), 284-300.

Claiming the Pen:  Women and Intellectual Life in the Early American  South (Cornell University Press, 2006)

"The Novel as Teacher: Learning to be Female in the Eighteenth-Century South," Journal of Southern History LXIX (August 2003), 513-548.

"By the Book: Eliza Ambler Brent Carrington and Conduct Literature in Late Eighteenth-Century Virginia," The Virginia Magazine Of History and Biography, Winter 1997, 27-52.


Current scholarly activities

Professor Kerrison's research interests are gender, race, intellectual, and southern history in the colonial and early national periods. She is currently finishing her second book, Jefferson's Daughters.

Book Reviews

Review of Margaret Sumner. Collegiate Republic: Cultivating an Ideal Society in Early America. (2014) History of Education Quarterly 55 no. 2 (May, 2015): 266-269.

Review of Emily Clark, The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World (2013) The Journal of the Civil War Era, v. 4 no. 2 (June 2014): 304-306.

Review of Henry Wiencek, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and his Slaves (2012), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2013) 121 (4): 380-381.

Review of Virginia Scharff, The Women Jefferson Loved (2010), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2010) 118 (4): 389-391.

Review of Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (New York, 2009), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2009) 117 (1): 61-62.

Review of Alan Pell Crawford, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson (New York, 2008), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2008) 116 (4): 417-418.

Review of Mary Kelley, Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic. (Chapel Hill, NC, 2006), Kentucky Register (2007) 105 (1): 114-115.

Review of Karen A. Weyler, Intricate Relations: Sexual and Economic Desire in American Fiction, 1789-1814 (Iowa City, IA, 2004), William and Mary Quarterly (2007) 64 (2): 441-444.

Review of James Raven, London Booksellers and American Customers: Transatlantic Literary Community and the Charleston Library Society, 1748-1811 (Columbia, S.C., 2002), Journal of Southern History (2004) 70 (1): 129-30.

Review of Linda Sturtz, Within Her Power: Propertied Women in Colonial Virginia (New York, 2002), Journal of American History (September 2003).

Review of Karin Wulf, Not All Wives:  Women of Colonial Philadelphia (Ithaca and London, 2000), The William and Mary Quarterly (April 2001).

Review of Michael J. Rozbicki, The Complete Colonial Gentleman: Cultural Legitimacy in Plantation America  (Charlottesville, 1998), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Summer 1998).

Review of Catherine Clinton and Michele Gillespie, eds., The Devil's Lane: Sex and Race In the Early South (Oxford, 1997), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Winter 1998).

Honors, Grants, Fellowships

Villanova University Faculty Summer Research Grant, 2014

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Fall 2012

American Fellowship, American Association of University Women, 2008-2009

Mellon Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2008

Outstanding Book Award for 2007, History of Education Society

Gilder-Lehrman Research Fellowship, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2006

Villanova University Faculty Summer Research Grant, 2005

International Center for Jefferson Studies Short-term Fellowship, Summer 2005.

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2003

Villanova University Faculty Summer Research Grant, 2001