Margaret Susan Thompson
Associate Professor, History Department
Associate Professor, Political Science Department
Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute
U.S. Women’s History
Twentieth-Century U.S. Politics Through Fiction
Moderization in American Society, 1870-1920 (graduate)
Highest degree earned
Margaret S. Thompson was trained as a political historian, with a focus on the nineteenth-century United States and, particularly, the Congress. Her first book, "The 'Spider Web:' Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant" (Cornell University Press), reflects both her scholarly and hands-on experience, the latter as American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.
Recently, Professor Thompson’s work has focused on the history of American Catholic nuns. She has written and lectured extensively on the subject, and has an 18-lecture audio series available through NowYouKnowMedia.com. Her research is from an explicitly feminist perspective, emphasizing the agency and social significance of sisters to American religious and secular history. As a result of this research, she has had the privilege of speaking internationally as well as across the U.S., and has served as a consultant to numerous documentarians and religious communities.
Her forthcoming book, "The Yoke of Grace: American Nuns and Social Change, 1809-1917," is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Research Grant Awards and Projects
Formal and Informal Collaboration among American Nuns in Response to Conflict with Vatican Kyriarchy.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Volume 16, No. 2 (Fall 2016), 63-82.
“Sisters and the Creation of American Catholic Identities.” In Education, Identity and Women Religious, 1800-1950, ed. Dierdre Raftery and Elizabeth Smyth (Routledge, 2016).
“Adaptation and Professionalization: Challenges for Teaching Sisters in a Pluralistic Nineteenth-Century America.” Paedagogica Historica. Special Issue on Catholic Teaching Congregations and Synthetic Configurations: Building Identity through Pedagogy and Spirituality across National Boundaries and Cultures (Vol. 49, No. 4 ), 1-17.
History of Women Religious in the United States . 18-lecture series distributed by NowYouKnowMedia.com.
“Cultural Conundrum: Sisters, Ethnicity, and the Adaptation of American Catholicism." Mid-America, 74 (1992): 205-30.
In Belief and Behavior: Essays in the New Religious History, ed. Philip VanderMeer and Robert Swierenga, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1991, pp. 136-63.
"Research on 19th Century Legislatures: Present Contours and Future Directions."Legislative Studies Quarterly, May 1984; reprinted in Handbook of Legislative Research, ed. Gerhard Loewenberg, et al. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress, 1985); also reprinted in The United States Congress in a Transitional Era,1800-1841: The Interplay of Party, Faction and Section, ed. Joel H. Silbey (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1991), Vol. I [Joel H. Silbey, co-author].
"Corruption--or Confusion? Lobbying and Congressional Government in the Early Gilded Age." Congress and the Presidency, Fall 1983; reprinted in The United States Congress in a Partisan Political Nation, 1841-1896, ed. Joel H. Silbey (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1991), Vol. III.
The "Spider Web": Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant (Cornell University Press, 1985).
"Women, Feminism, and the New Religious History: Catholic Sisters as a Case Study."
May 19, 2022
Awards & Honors
Apr 27, 2022
Promotions & Appointments
Mar 15, 2022
Oct 8, 2021