Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Simmons College
Website URL
women and gender, women and the professions, women artists, American imperialism, Christian missions, Philippines, history of nursing, American art, memory, archives
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Laura R. Prieto (B.A., Wellesley College; A.M., Ph.D., Brown University) is currently Visiting Professor and Research Associate in the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at the Harvard Divinity School (2017-2018). Her regular academic appointment is Professor of History and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Simmons College in Boston. At Simmons, she was Chair of the History Department (2011-2016) and for ten years previously, co-director of the graduate program in Archives and History. She teaches a wide range of courses in American history, gender history, and methodology. Harvard University Press published her book, At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America, in 2001.

Her ongoing research pays particular attention to visual culture in analyzing gender, race, and imperialism during the era of the Spanish-American War. Her book manuscript in progress, “Bibles and Butterfly Sleeves: Women and Protestant Missions in the Philippines, 1898-1939,” traces how the women’s missionary movement played out in the archipelago during the era of American colonization.

Prieto also created an online project on nineteenth-century women sculptors, abolition, and women’s rights for Women and Social Movements in the United States, and serves as a contributor to WASM’s biographical dictionary of women suffragists. She is co-editing an anthology on gender, sexuality and race in the Atlantic world for the University of South Carolina Press, and is completing a survey of American women’s history for Facts on File. She has reviewed many books for academic journals and worked as a freelance editor, copywriter, and researcher. She held the Ruth R. and Alyson R. Miller Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 2010-2011, and served as the Vice-President and President of the New England Historical Association in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, respectively.

Recent Publications

“Dazzling Visions: American Women, Race, and the Imperialist Origins of Modern Nursing in Cuba, 1898-1916,” Nursing History Review (January 2018).

“‘New Women,’ American imperialism and Filipina nationalism: The politics of dress in Philippine mission stations, 1898-1940.”  In Women in Transnational History: Connecting the Local and the Global. Clare Midgley, Alison Twells, and Julie Carlier, eds. NY: Routledge, 2016.

“Bibles, Baseball, and Butterfly Sleeves: Filipina Women and American Protestant Missions, 1900-1930.” In Paradoxes of Domesticity: Christian Missionaries and Women in Asia and the Pacific. Hyaeweol Choi and Margaret Jolly, eds. Canberra: Australia National University Press, 2014.

“‘A Delicate Subject’: Clemencia López, Civilized Womanhood, and the Politics of Anti-Imperialism,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (April 2013).

“‘Stepmother America’: The Woman’s Board of Missions in the Philippines.” In Competing Kingdoms: Women, Nation, Mission and American Empire. Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Kathryn Kish Sklar, and Connie A. Shema, eds. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Caribbean, Pacific, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Gender, Medicine, Race, Sexuality, Religion, Women