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Elise LealElise Leal

Assistant Professor
300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.4367
Fax: 509.777.3711
Office Location: Weyerhaeuser Hall 210K
Email: eleal@whitworth.edu

My research focuses on historical intersections between cultural formation and religious belief and practice, particularly in relation to gender, childhood/youth, and social reform in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century United States. My current project draws from the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies to explore how the spread of the Sunday school movement from 1790-1860 facilitated the rise of child-centric religious communities, alongside networks of youth religious leadership, that transformed Protestant approaches to faith formation and values transmission. My interest in exploring how belief systems – religious, gender, age, and otherwise – influence social change also shapes my teaching. My classes are oriented around teaching students to become effective investigators of the historical interplay among ideas, identities, and cultures. By simultaneously providing rigorous training in the historian’s craft, I hope to enable my students to use the past to contextualize the present, function as informed citizens within diverse communities, and develop the self-awareness required for being agents of positive change.

Education

Ph.D. Baylor University May 2018

M.A. Texas State University 2013

B.A. Regent University 2011

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty

2018

Areas of Specialization / Expertise

American religious history; Women’s and gender history; History of childhood and youth; Religious and social reform movements; 18th and 19th century United States

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • “‘All Our Children May be Taught of God’: Sunday Schools and the Roles of Childhood and Youth in Creating Evangelical Benevolence.” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 87, no. 4 (2018): 1056-1090

Book Chapters

  • “‘Young People are Actually Becoming Accurate Bible Theologians": Children's Bible Culture in Early Nineteenth-Century America", in The Burden of the Word: Evangelicals and the Bible in Historical Perspective, edited by Timothy Larsen, Oxford University Press [forthcoming}

Reviews

  • Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America. By Sharon Block.” Coordinating Council for Women in History Newsletter 50, no. 3 (2019): 15-18 
  • Bible Culture & Authority in the Early United States. By Seth Perry.” Journal of Church and State 61, no. 2 (Spring 2019): 335-337. 
  • The Transatlantic Kindergarten: Education and Women’s Movements in Germany and the United States. By Ann Taylor Allen.” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 12, no. 1 (2019): 141-143. 
  • Sacred Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution. By James P. Byrd.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 39, Issue 2 (2016): 306-307.

Selected Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Robert L. McNeil Jr. Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2019
  • Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith and Learning Research Fellowship, Whitworth University, 2019
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award Nominee, Baylor University, 2019
  • Sidney E. Mead, American Society of Church History, 2017
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Fellowship, Boston Athenaeum, 2016-2017
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Baylor University, 2017
  • Doctoral Research Travel Award, Baylor University, 2017
  • Research Travel Grant, Congregational Library and Archives, 2016
  • Lynn E. May Study Grant, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2016
  • Doctoral Scholarship Award, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, 2016
  • George P. Hammond Paper Prize, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, 2016

Selected Conference Presentations

  • “‘The Instrumentality of Young Ladies’: Single Women, Sunday Schools, and the Expansion of Female Religious Authority in Antebellum America,” American Society of Church History Winter Meeting, January 3-6, 2020 
  • “‘To Dispense Knowledge without Religion’: Disestablishment and Debates over Sunday School Curriculum in Massachusetts Common Schools”, Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, July 18-21, 2019 
  • “For the Betterment of Females: Reimagining Women’s Work in the American Ceylon Mission,” American Society of Church History Winter Meeting, January 3-6, 2019 
  • “Shaping Women of ‘Unsubdued Spirit’: Rebecca Gratz and Female Religious Leadership in Antebellum American Judaism,” Thirty-First Biennial Conference on Faith and History, October 4-6 2018 
  • “‘Dictators of the Consciences of Thousands of Immortal Beings’: Sunday Schools, Parental-Pastoral Authority, and the Creation of Youth Religious Networks in the Early Republic,” American Society of Church History Winter Meeting, January 4-7, 2018 
  • ‘“Nurseries of the Church of God’: Sunday Schools, Childhood, and the Expansion of Evangelicalism in the Early American Republic,” American Historical Association, Sponsored by the Society for the History of Children and Youth and the Conference on Latin American History, January 5-8, 2017 
  • “‘I Am Almost Ready to Wish Myself a Man’: Harriet Lathrop Winslow and the Creation of Female Missionary Identities, 1819-1833,” Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, April 7-10, 2016 
  • “Gender Cooperation and the Institutionalization of the New York Sunday School Movement, 1816-1828,” Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, July 16-19, 2015

 

Research & Scholarship

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Fellowship, Boston Athenaeum, 2016-2017

Short-Term Research Fellowship Alternate, American Antiquarian Society, 2017

Short-Term Research Fellowship Alternate, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2017

Doctoral Research Travel Award, Baylor University, 2017

Research Travel Grant, Congregational Library and Archives, 2016

Lynn E. May Study Grant, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2016

Doctoral Scholarship Award, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, 2016

Graduate School Fellowship, Baylor University, 2013-2018

Merit Scholarship, Regent University, 2009-2011