Kathleen Sprows Cummings


Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Scranton
B.A., University of Scranton


Kathleen Sprows Cummings is an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.  Her teaching and research center on the history of women and American religion and the study of U.S. Catholicism. Her first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, was published in 2009 with the University of North Carolina Press.  At present Cummings is working on a new book, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in American Culture. Cummings received an NEH Fellowship to support work on this project during the academic year 2010-11.  Her most recent publication is "American Saints: Gender and the Re-Imaging of American Catholicism in the Early Twentieth Century," which appears in the summer 2012 issue of Religion and American Culture.


  • AMST 30136  American Saints

  • AMST 30158 - Gender & American Catholicism

  • AMST 30164 - Catholics in America

  • AMST 43148 - Women and American Religion


Refereed/Invited Journal Articles and Chapters

  • “American Saints: Gender, Citizenship, and Catholic Devotion in the United States,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation

  • “Teaching About Women, Gender, and American Catholicism,” chap. 10 in The Catholic Studies Reader, ed. Margaret McGuinness and James T. Fisher, Fordham University Press, 2011. (refereed)

  • “Rewriting His Story: Vocations, Teaching Sisters, and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era,” Josephinium Journal of Theology 16: 1 9(Winter/Spring 2009): 6-23 (invited)

  • “The Wageless Work of Paradise: Teaching Sisters and American Religious History,” Journal of Religion and Society, Supplement Series 5, 2009, http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/pdf/2009-8.pdf (invited)

  • “The ‘New Woman’ at the ‘University’: Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era,” chap. In The Religious History of American Women: Reimagining the Past, ed. Catherine A. Brekus (University of North Carolina Press, 2007). (refereed)

  • “‘We Owe it to our Sex as Well as our Religion’: The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Ladies Auxiliary, and the Founding of Trinity College for Catholic Women, Washington, D.C.” American Catholic Studies 115 (Winter 2004):21-36. (refereed)

Awards and Honors

  • Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2010-11.

  • Best Paper Prize, Religion Caucus of the American Studies Association, 2009 Annual Meeting.

  • Large Research Grant, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, October 2011

  • Miscellaneous Materials Grant, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, May 2010(applied toward intensive study of Italian language, summer 2010).

  • Mini-Conference Grant, “Transatlantic Catholicism: The French-American Connection,”Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, December 2009.

  • Joyce Award Grant, Office of the Provost, University of Notre Dame, (applied toward enhancing use of technology in classrooms), summer 2008.

  • Book Subvention Grant, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, 2008.

  • Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2007.

  • Lilly Faculty Fellow, Notre Dame Vocation Initiative, 2002.