Lisa Tetrault is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the author of The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848–1898 (2014), which won the OAH Mary Jurich Nickliss Book Prize. She is the recipient of long-term fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress. She also spent a year in residence at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. Tetrault specializes in memory, social movements (particularly feminism), Reconstruction, political economy, and women's health. She is currently at work on two new book projects: a new narrative about post–Civil War women's rights activism and a history of intimate partner violence from the founding of the nation to the present.
The 1860s and 1870s were arguably witness to the most explosive, broad-reaching, and sophisticated women's rights agitation the North had ever seen. This goes largely unrecognized in the scholarship. This outpouring of activism, however, is too often eclipsed by the story of women's suffrage. That standard scholarly story is, in turn, woefully inadequate for capturing the complex constellation that was post-war women's suffrage. If we ask a few key suffragists to step aside, we discover a world where women's rights, broadly construed, were at the forefront of efforts to remake the nation.