Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Penn State Altoona
Website URL
Early America, Gender, Women, Marriage, Family, Capitalism, Law
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Personal Info

About Me

Keiter’s current research focuses on the economic functions of marriage in the late eighteenth through early nineteenth centuries, when ideals of marriage rapidly evolved to emphasize emotional compatibility and romantic intimacy. By examining how families in five seaboard colonies and then states planned financially and how marriage functioned legally as a conduit for various types of property, she connects the experiences of families and individuals to the wider forces of early America’s volatile, growing market economy.

Prior to joining Penn State Altoona, she gained experience with public history and interpretation with the Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Her research has been supported most recently by the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the New-York Historical Society. She presents her research regularly, including at recent meetings of the American Society for Legal History, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and the Business History Conference.

Recent Publications

“Connubial Adventurers: Playing the Matrimonial Lottery in British America,” Early American Studies 21, no. 4 (Winter 2023): 1-41.

“The Emergence of the ‘Marriage Market’ in Antebellum America,” in Brenton J. Malin, Richard Popp, and Wendy Woloson, eds., Commercial Intimacy: Affinity and the Marketplace, accepted for publication in the Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture Series of the University of Pennsylvania Press, expected publication 2024.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
British North America, United States
Expertise by Geography
North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, American Revolution, American Founding Era, Capitalism, Economic History, Family, Gender, Law, Museums, Pedagogy, Public History, Women