Associate Professor and Associate Chair,

Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality

University of Virginia

203 Levering Hall

PO Box 400172

Charlottesville, VA 22904-4172


Phone: 434-243-4374


Ph.D. with distinction, History, Columbia University, 2008

Dissertation: Woman’s Rights and the Politics of Adulthood in the United States, 1792-1939

B.A. English, Stanford University, 1987


2018-present Associate Professor, Women, Gender & Sexuality Department, University of Virginia

2016-2018  Assistant Professor, Women, Gender & Sexuality Department, University of Virginia

2013-2016    General Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program and Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

2007-2013    Adjunct Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program and Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia





2014             The Struggle for Equal Adulthood: Gender, Race, Age and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America (University of North Carolina Press, Gender and American Culture Series).

Edited Volumes

2022             Co-editor with LaKisha Simmons, The Global History of Black Girlhood (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming September).

2015             Co-editor with Nicholas Syrett, Age in America: Colonial Era to the Present (New York University Press).


2022             “Antifeminism, Anti-Blackness, and Antioldness: The Intersectional Aesthetics of Aging in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, special issue, “Rethinking ‘Fist Wave’ Feminisms,” 47, no. 4, forthcoming, Summer.

2021             “Old-Age Justice and Black Feminist History: Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman’s Intersectional Legacies,” Radical History Review, Special Issue on Old/Age 139 (January): 37-51.

2020             Co-editor with Nicholas Syrett, “AHR Roundtable: Chronological Age: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review (April): 371-459.

2019             “‘What does come after?’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Speculative Sociology of Aging Beyond Youth,” Studies in American Fiction (Fall): 289-320.

2019             Invited co-editor with Lakisha Simmons, special issue of Women, Gender, and Families of Color 7, no. 1 (Spring).

2017             “What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Age in Early America?” 17, no. 2


2016             Editor and contributor, “The History of Black Girlhood: Recent Innovations and Future Directions,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (Fall): 383-401.

2011             “‘Made Women of When They are Mere Children’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Critique of Eighteenth-Century Girlhood,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (Spring): 197-222.

2001             “‘Are Women . . . All Minors?’: Woman’s Rights and the Politics of Aging in the Antebellum United States,” Journal of Women’s History (Winter): 113-137.




2022             “Abolition, Women’s Rights, and the Contested Value of Being Old in the Nineteenth Century,” Critical Humanities and Ageing: Forging Interdisciplinary Dialogues, eds., Thomas Cole, Marlene Goldman, and Kate de Medeiros (New York: Routledge, forthcoming Spring).

2015             “If You Have the Right to Vote at 21 Years, Then I have”: Age and Equal Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” in Age in America: Colonial Era to the Present, eds. Corinne Field and Nicholas Syrett (New York University Press).

2015            “Frances E. W. Harper and the Politics of Intellectual Maturity,” in Toward and Intellectual History of Black Women, edited by Farah Griffin, Mia Bay, Martha Jones, and Barbara Savage (University of North Carolina Press).

Review essays


2021             “The Long Struggle Over Gender, Race, and Voting Rights in America,” Massachusetts Historical Review, forthcoming.  Review of Cathleen Cahill, Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement; Martha S. Jones, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All; and Allison M. Parker, Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell.

2016             “Why Little Thinkers are a Big Deal: The Relevance of Childhood Studies to Intellectual History,” Modern Intellectual History (March): 1-12.  Review of Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights; Anne Mae Duane, Suffering Childhood in Early America: Violence, Race, and the Making of the Child Victim; and Anna Mae Duane, ed., The Children’s Table: Childhood Studies and the Humanities in Modern Intellectual History.


In preparation

“Grand Old Women: How Feminists and Abolitionists Transformed Aging in America.”  Historical monograph exploring how women activists aged in public in the nineteenth century, contested misogynistic and racist ideas about oldness, and created intergenerational networks for mutual care.

Co-editor with David Troyanksy, “A Cultural History of Old Age—The Nineteenth Century” (Bloomsbury Press).  Part of a six-volume series on old age in the western world.  Authors commissioned and preparing chapters due February, 2021.

“Looking Old: A US History.” This book explains how from the colonial period to World War I, in the absence of standardized birth certificates, Americans read age onto bodies through visual inspection for traits such as gray hair and wrinkled skin.  I trace how dynamics of seeing and concealing age shaped the development of heterosexual courtship, chattel slavery, industrial labor, and professionalization.

Book Reviews

2018            Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello, Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State (Ithaca: Three Hills, Cornell University Press, 2017) for New York History 99, no. 1, forthcoming November.

2017            Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (New Haven: Yale University press, 2016) for The Journal of American Culture 41, no. 1: 107-08.

2016             Felice Batlan, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945 in The American Historical Review (June): 943-44.

2016             Catherine Jones, Intimate Reconstruction: Children in Postemancipation Virginia in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 124, no. 1: 75-77.


2015             Mary F. W. Gibson, ‘Hero Strong’ and Other Stories: Tales of Girlhood Ambition, Female Masculinity, and Women’s Worldly Achievement in Antebellum America in Journal of the Civil War Era (September): 447-49.

2015             J. Brent Morris, Oberlin Hotbed of Abolitionism: College, Community, and the Fight for Freedom and Equality in Antebellum America in Canadian Journal of History (Autumn): 357-58.

2014             Wanda Hendricks, Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race in The Women’s Review of Books (September/October): 7-9.

2012             Alison Parker, Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State in The Journal of the Civil War Era (September): 465-67.

2012             Cynthia Eller, Gentlemen and Amazons: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861-1900 in The Women’s Review of Books (July/August): 13-15

2012             James Schmidt, Industrial Violence and the Legal Origins of Child Labor in The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (Spring 2012): 323-27.

Blog posts

2017             “Collaborative Curation,” Notes from Under Grounds: The Blog of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, 16 February

2014             “The Age Gap,” Women=Books, 27 October.

2014             “Old Age was Once a Feminist Issue,” UNC Press Blog, 30 September.

2014             “‘Boomerang Kids’ and the Political History of Adulthood,” UNC Press Blog, 27 June.



2022 Spring NEH Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

2021             WGS Research Grant, University of Virginia

2019  Fall     Drawn-to-Art Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA

2018-2019  Mellon Schlesinger Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

2017 Summer Stipend, University of Virginia

2016 Summer Research Support Grant, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University

2015 Summer Bing Fellowship, Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA

2014, 2015 WGS Research Grants

2010-2011 Fellow in Residence, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

2010 Spring Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia

2009 Fall Fellow, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

1996-1997 Radcliffe Dissertation Grant, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University


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