OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor

Portrait of Ellen Hartigan-O

Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Davis, where she teaches courses on the social, cultural, economic, and gender history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America. She is the author of The Ties That Buy: Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America (2009), which considers black and white women as workers, shoppers, and creditors, and a coauthor of Global Americans (2017), a college textbook on American history in global context. With Lisa G. Materson, she is a coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of American Women's and Gender History (2018). She is currently finishing another book, "America under the Hammer: Auctions and Market Culture, 1700-1850."

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

What role did women and gender play in the Atlantic Age of Revolution? This lecture uses gender as a lens to understand the politics and progress of revolution in the Americas, Caribbean, and Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Early American auctions handled every type of property, from real estate to used stockings to human beings to one-of-a-kind paintings. This lecture investigates the role of auctions in distributing goods, establishing ideas about value, and shaping the emergence of capitalism in the United States.
Acquiring goods was both unpaid labor and an opportunity for shoppers to force economic connections, express taste, and participate in politics. This lecture examines the many dimensions of shopping in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The development of American capitalism rested upon the paid and unpaid labor of women, both free and unfree. This lecture uncovers the little-discussed gender dimension of economic and cultural history, demonstrating the centrality of ideas about men and women to evolving institutions and practices.