Margaret Susan Thompson

Associate Professor, History and Political Science


Contact Information

313C Maxwell Hall
(315) 443-5882

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1979


Modern American history, government and politics, religion, women's history


The Modern Presidency
U.S. Women’s History
Twentieth-Century U.S. Politics Through Fiction
Moderization in American Society, 1870-1920 (graduate)  


Formal and Informal Collaboration among American Nuns in Response to Conflict with Vatican Kyriarchy.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion[1], 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 [2013]), 1-17.

History of Women Religious in the United States. 18-lecture series distributed by 

“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." 

Research Interests

U.S. Politics and Governance (especially Modernization), Women and Politics, Religion and Politics, Women and Religion in U.S. History.

Research Projects

Catholic Sisters in American History and Politics, the Catholic Church and Politics, Religion and Political Extremism, Women and American Religion. My principal research for now concerns the Americanization of Catholic women’s religious life (sisters and nuns), but I am also quite interested in the impact of religion upon American politics and governance.

SU Affiliations

Campbell Public Affairs Institute