Dr. Catherine Kerrison
Associate Professor

St. Augustine Center 436
Phone: (610) 519-4675

Email: catherine.kerrison@villanova.edu


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Teaching and professional interests

U.S. History, precontact to the present

Women in Early America (Precontact to 1800),

Women and Religion in Early America

Print Culture in the Anglo-Atlantic World

Early American Intellectual History

Comparative English/American Family and Women’s History. 


Courses regularly taught


U.S. History, pre-contact to the present

Colonial America

Revolutionary and Federalist America

Women in American History

Rulers and Rebels:  England, 1485-1714


Colonial America

Revolutionary and Federalist America

Gender and Society in England and America, 1500-1800

Principal publications

"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.

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


Current scholarly activities

My new project is entitled “Jefferson’s Daughters and the American Republic of Letters.” At this early stage, it focuses more particularly on the meaning of education for Jefferson’s daughters.  But ultimately this narrow focus leads to a much larger one:  How does the educational paradigm Martha Jefferson Randolph fostered for her children reflect gender roles in southern life?  How might female education be used as a prism through which to view women’s contribution to the development of a consciously southern identity?  And perhaps most intriguing:  why did not the educated daughters of one of the most prominent political philosophers and architects of the new republic aspire to craft a place for women in the polity?  Or did they?


Book Reviews

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 (forthcoming).

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, 2005;

Mellon Fellowship, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2006

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2003

Villanova University Faculty Summer Research Grant, 2001

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