George Mason University
Department of History and Art History

Robinson B 353
4400 University Drive, MSN 3G1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Professor of History, George Mason University, July 2008 to present.

Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, July 1998 to June 2008.
(Associate Professor, 1992-98; Assistant Professor, 1986-92.)


Ph.D., History, University of Virginia, 1986.
M.A., History, University of Virginia, 1982.
B.A., History and Political Science, McGill University, 1980. First Class Honors.

Current Projects – Book: Inventing Disaster: American Calamities from Jamestown to Johnstown


Single-Author Books

Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

  • Winner of the Julia Cherry Spruill Award from the Southern Association for Women Historians
  • Winner of the Richard Slatten Prize for Virginia Biography
  • Finalist for the George Washington Book Prize
  • Finalist for the Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction

The Contrast: Manners, Morals, and Authority in the Early American Republic. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America. New York: Palgrave/St. Martin’s, 2004. (Paperback edition, University of Virginia Press, 2006).

  • Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction: Honorable Mention

Revolutionary America, 1750-1815: Sources and Interpretation. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall, 2002.

Beyond the Household: Women’s Place in the Early South, 1700-1835. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Southern Women in Revolution, 1776-1800: Personal and Political Narratives. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Alcuin: A Dialogue, by Charles Brockden Brown. Edited with an introduction. Masterworks of Literature. Albany, N.Y.: New College and University Press, 1995.

Traders and Gentlefolk: The Livingstons of New York, 1675-1790. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1992.

Coauthored/Coedited Books

Virginia Women: Their Lives ad Times, 2 vols. (coedited with Sandra Gioia Treadway). Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015-16.

Changing History: Virginia Women Through Four Centuries (coauthored with Jennifer R. Loux and Megan Taylor Shockley). Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2013.


“Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Ice—oh my!,” Reviews in American History, 43 (2015): 627-33.

“Grace Sherwood: The Virginia Witch,” in Kierner and Treadway, eds., Virginia Women: Their Lies and Times. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015.

“The Edenton Ladies: Women, Tea, and Politics in Revolutionary North Carolina,” in Michele Gillespie and Sally McMillen, eds., North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013.

“(Women’s) Money Makes the World Go ‘Round,” Reviews in American History, 38 (June 2010): 215-20.

“Martha Jefferson and the America Revolution in Virginia,” in James Marten, ed., Children and Youth in a New Nation. New York: New York University Press, 2009.

“Women, Gender, Families, and Households in the Southern Colonies,” Journal of Southern History, 73 (Aug. 2007): 643-58.

“Sex, Science, and Sensibility at Jefferson’s Monticello,” Reviews in American History, 33 (Sept. 2005): 333-340.

“The English Colonial South to 1750,” in John B. Boles, ed., A Companion to the American South (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 38-53.

“‘The dark and dense cloud perpetually lowering over us: Gender and the Decline of the Gentry in Postrevolutionary Virginia,” Journal of the Early Republic, 20 (2000): 185-218.

“Gender, Hospitality, and Sociability in the Southern Colonies,” Journal of Southern History, 62 (1996): 449-80.

“Genteel Balls and Republican Parades: Gender and Early Southern Civic Rituals, 1677-1825,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 104 (1996): 185-210. Winner of the William M. E. Rachal Prize for the Best Article in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.


National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship, 2009-10. Travel Grant, International Center for Jefferson Studies, 2005. Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2011, 2005, 1997, 1991. Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1994. Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1992.

Major Professional Service University of Virginia Press Board, 2011-14.

Editorial Board, North Carolina Historical Review, 2003-8.

Editorial Board, Journal of Southern History, 2001-5.

Editorial Board, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1999-2001.

National Endowment for the Humanities Outside Evaluator, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2013.

Organization of American Historians: OAH Distinguished Lecturer, 2007-present. Lerner-Scott Prize Committee Chair, 2014.

Southern Association for Women Historians: President, 2006-7. First Vice President, 2005-6. Second Vice President, 2004-5. Program Committee Chair, Fifth Southern Conference on Women’s History, 1999-2000.

Southern Historical Association Program Committee Chair, 2013 meeting.


Mediation Center of Charlottesville, President of the Advisory Board (2012-2015)
Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship Committee (2011-2014)
National Council for Social Studies (2010-2015)
We the People National Finals Championship Judge, Center for Civic Education (2009-2015)
Scholastic Publishing, consultant for a four book series on civic engagement (2010)
Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association, conference presenter (2003)
Maryland Council for Social Studies Conference, conference presenter (2003)
Maryland Historical Society, consultant on a U.S. History resource book for teachers (2001)