Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Virginia Wesleyan University
Website URL
American history, women and gender, race, African American history, sexuality, vaudeville, recreation, blackface, impersonation, material culture, clothing, purses, sexism, racism, intersectionality
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Kathleen B. Casey is an Associate Professor in the History Department and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach. She received her doctorate in History and certification in Gender and Women’s Studies in 2010 from the University of Rochester, where she received the Susan B. Anthony Award for Most Distinguished Dissertation in Women’s Studies. After serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester from 2010 to 2011, she was a Dean’s Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Honors College from 2011 to 2012.

Professor Casey’s area of expertise is late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American cultural and social history. Her research and teaching interests include modern American popular and material culture, gender and sexuality, and African-American history. Her first book, The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville (University of Tennessee Press, 2015) explores performances of gender and race from 1900 to 1930. Her current project, The Things She Carried: Women and the Power of the Purse, is a cultural and social biography of the purse, which explores how and why purses became intimately linked with evolving understandings of gender, travel, waged work, and modernity.

Recent Publications

Casey_PrettiestGirl, Cover (1)
The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville  (University of Tennessee Press, October 2015)

“Sex, Savagery and the Woman Who Made Vaudeville Famous,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, University of Nebraska Press, Vol. 36, No. 1, March 2015.

“‘The Jewish Girl with a Colored Voice’: Sophie Tucker and the Sounds of Gender and Race in Modern America,” Journal of American Culture, Wiley Periodicals, Vol. 38, No. 1, March 2015.

Exporting Perilous Pauline: Pearl White and the Serial Film Craze, for Women and Social Movements, Vol. 18, No. 1, March 2014.

Media Coverage
‘What was Fun?’ by Rachel Sugar, Vox media, Oct 2020. https. .://
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Emancipation, Gender, Material Culture, Race, Sexuality, Urban History, Women