Elisabeth Davis


edavis4@buffalo.edu | CV

Fields: American History l Women’s History l Early Modern Europe

Adviser: Erik Seeman

MA History & Women’s Studies, Temple University
Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, Temple University
BA History, Shippensburg University

Dissertation Title: “The Centralization Controversy: Nuns, Bishops, and the Rise of American Catholicism, 1790-1860”

I study the intersections between gender and power in the early American Catholic Church.  My dissertation identifies what I term “centralization controversy” as Catholic women’s religious communities in America attempted to create their own models of governance alongside of the institutional model of the American Catholic clergy.

Select Awards

John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, American Catholic Historical Association, 2018
Presidential Travel Grant, American Catholic Historical Association, Spring 2018 and Winter 2019
Anne R. Tirone Research Fellowship, University at Buffalo, 2017-2018

Manuscripts Under Peer Review

“The Disappearance of Mother Agnes Spencer: The Centralization Controversy and the Antebellum Catholic Church,” American Catholic Studies

Commissioned Manuscripts

“The Gendered Lines of Centralization: The Oblates, Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Antebellum American Catholic Church.” U.S. Catholic Historian.   

“Renaissance & Reformation Era Europe-Religious Life: Religious.” In The Greenwood Encyclopedia of the Daily Life of Women: How They Lived from Ancient Times to the Present.