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Bright Distinguished Professor & Chair of American History
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
Bright Distinguished Professor of American History; Chair of History; Director of the Bright Institute at Knox College
"I’m currently writing a book called A Pedagogy of Kindness, under contract with West Virginia University Press, which explores the discipline of teaching with compassion. People often confuse kindness with simply “being nice.” But kindness requires that a commitment to justice be front and center in our teaching in order for us to co-create incredible learning opportunities with our students.
My historical research has focused on nineteen-century marriage, divorce, pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy among Native and non-Native communities in what we currently call Minnesota. By looking at interpersonal relationships, I’m able to gain a new perspective on who had what power in the region at any given moment, and offer new ways to think about Native resistance to American colonialism."
Years at Knox: 2005 to present
Ph.D., History, 2005, University of Iowa.
MA, History, 1996, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
B.A., (Hons), American Studies, 1994, University of Nottingham.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Native and Indigenous History; Pedagogy.
Full Curriculum Vitae - (PDF)
“Time to Get Serious: Training Graduate Students in Teaching,” Teaching History: A Journal of Methods, 46:1 (2021): 29.
“Feminism, Pedagogy, and a Pandemic,” Journal of Women’s History, 33:1 (Spring 2021): 134-139.
“A Pedagogy of Kindness,” in Jesse Stommel, Chris Friend, and Sean Michael Morris, Critical Digital Pedagogy: A Collection. Washington, D.C.: Hybrid Pedagogy, Inc, 2020, 212-218.
“Ethics and the Practice of History,” in Ron Iphofen, ed. Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, 2020.
“‘Mother of all the living’: Motherhood, Religion, and Political Culture at the Ojibwe Village of Fond du Lac, 1835-1839,” Early American Studies. 17:4 (Fall 2019): 443-473.
"The Subjective Self: Teaching Student Historians to ask 'Who Am I?'"Syllabus. 5:2 (2016).
Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2013.
"Atoms, Honeycombs, and Fabric Scraps: Rethinking Timelines in the Undergraduate Classroom," The History Teacher, 46:3 (May 2013): 415-434.
" Pelagie Farribault's Island: Property, Kinship, and the Contested Meaning of Marriage in Dakota Country," Minnesota History. 62:2 (Summer 2010): 48-59.
Keynote Speaker, Florida Southwestern Community College Summer Institute Series, Florida Southwestern Community College, (Virtual), June 21, 2021.
“Making the Grade: An Introduction to Ungrading,” LectureBreakers Summer Conference 2021, (Virtual), June 10, 2021.
“Pelagie Faribault’s Island: Marriage, Land, and Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Mni Sota Makoce,” Mendota After Hours, (Virtual), May 14, 2021.
Keynote Speaker, Fourth Biennial Teaching History Conference, University of California-Davis (Virtual), May 8, 2021.
“Decolonizing Museum Labels,” Digital Stories for Knowledge Equity, Socially Just Academia (Virtual), January 26, 2021.
Workshop leader, “A Pedagogy of Kindness,” Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (Virtual), January 21, 2021.
Keynote Speaker, “A Pedagogy of Kindness,” Teaching and Learning Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Virtual), January 14, 2021.
Workshop leader, “Creating Breathing Room for Our Students and Ourselves,” Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, December 17, 2020.
Fridays at Four, “Five Things I’ve Learned About Online Teaching,” November 13, 2020.
Guest Speaker, PSY 665: Teaching Practicum, Northern Arizona University (via Zoom). 2020.
Lead Co-Facilitator with Gabrielle Raley, Introduction to Intergroup Dialogue (three-hour workshop) at Lake Forest College’s Diversity Summit, Lake Forest, Illinois, January 25, 2020.
Panelist, “Teaching Students How to Write History,” roundtable at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York, NY, January 6, 2020.
Panelist and Panel Organizer, “I Got It!”: Primary Source Analysis and Formative Assessment in an Introductory-Level Classroom,” for the panel “What Are We Learning?: Innovative Assessments and Student Learning in College-Level History Classes.” Co-sponsored by the Teaching Division. American Historical Association annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, January 3-6, 2019.
Chair, "Seven Weddings and a Funeral: Life, Death, Ritual, and Meaning in the Early Republic," Society for Historians of the Early American Republic annual meeting, July 19-22, 2018.
“Conceptions of Motherhood in Early Nineteenth-Century Ojibwe Country,” American Philosophical Society Brown Bag Lunch Series, Philadelphia, PA, July 3, 2018.
Campus & Community Involvement
What Students Say
“I love Cate Denial so much. Every time I’m in her class, she comes at each point with a really thoughtful and articulate, conscious—something. That final thing that I don’t know. She just really comes in thinking about everyone who’s in the room and everyone who’s not in the room, and I really admire that.”