Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Professor of American Studies


403 Geddes Hall

Research Interests

  • Women
  • Religion
  • 19th and 20th Century America

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame.  She is also professor of American studies and history at Notre Dame, and an affiliated faculty member in Gender Studies, Italian Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Cummings’ new book, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in April 2019. She published her first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, with the University of North Carolina Press in 2009. She co-edited (with R. Scott Appleby) Catholics in the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History, published by Cornell University Press in 2012. She also co-edited, with Timothy Matovina and Robert Orsi, Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event, published in 2017 with Cambridge University Press. Cummings edited Roman Sources for the Study of American Catholicism, 1763–1939a guide to 59 archival repositories in Rome and at the Holy See, written by Matteo Binasco and published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2018. She served as the president of the American Catholic Historical Association in 2017.

Cummings teaches classes on the history of women, Catholicism, sanctity, and American religion at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to directing the Cushwa Center, Cummings presently oversees the History of Women Religious, an academic organization devoted to the historical study of Catholic sisters. She often serves as a media commentator on contemporary events in the Church. Cummings appeared on NBC’s live coverage of the conclave in March 2013, the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in April 2014, and the papal visit to the United States in September 2015. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times and other media outlets on Catholic subjects. For more information on her appearances, visit cushwa.nd.edu/news/in-the-media.

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