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The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program

Cathleen D. Cahill

Cathleen D. CahillCathleen D. Cahill teaches at Penn State University. She is the author of Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869–1932 (2011), which won the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award and was a finalist for the David J. Weber and Bill Clements Book Prize. Cahill is a social historian who explores the everyday experiences of ordinary people, primarily women. She focuses on women's working and political lives, asking how identities such as race, nationality, class, and age have shaped them. She is also interested in the connections generated by women's movements for work, play, and politics, and how mapping those movements reveal women in surprising and unexpected places. She is currently engaged in two book projects. "Joining the Parade: Women of Color Challenge the Mainstream Suffrage Movement" follows the lead of feminist scholars of color calling for alternative "genealogies of feminism," using individual biographies to explore the activism of African American, indigenous, Chinese American, and Hispana women before and after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. "Indians on the Road: Gender, Race, and Regional Identity" reimagines the West Coast through the lens of indigenous people's relationships with the transportation systems that bisected their lands, forming corridors of conquest and environmental change while simultaneously connecting them in new and sometimes-empowering ways to other people and places.