Elisabeth C. 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.

Refereed Articles

“The Disappearance of Mother Agnes Spencer: The Centralization Controversy and the    Antebellum Catholic Church,” American Catholic Studies 130 2 (Summer 2019):  31-52.

 “ “A Promise of Obedience”: The Oblates, the Centralization Controversy, and the Antebellum Catholic Church,” U.S. Catholic Historian (submitted at the editor’s request for a special issue; currently under review)

Digital Publications

Review of Mother Juana De La Cruz, 1481-1534: Visionary Sermons ed. Jessica Boon et al., Appositions: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature & Culture, Volume 10 (2017): On-line Journal.

Uncovering the Convent,” Nursing Clio, July 2019.



John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, American Catholic Historical Association, 2018

Research Grants and Fellowships

Humanities Institute Advanced Dissertation Fellowship, University at Buffalo, 2019-2020

CUSHWA Travel Grant, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame   University, 2019

Mark Diamond Research Grant, University at Buffalo, Fall 2017-Fall 2018

Anne R. Tirone Research Fellowship, University at Buffalo, Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Milton Plesur Graduate Student Fellowship, University at Buffalo, multiple years