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Literary Historian, Georgetown University

My research focuses on Catholic sisters and others in full-time religious life (priests, oblates) who are radical, nonviolent peace activists and who change the media discourse. These activists go to prison for faith, conscience, and nuclear disarmament. I also run an interfaith faculty beehive house next to Georgetown University's campus in the spirit of the Catholic Worker. On the more purely historical academic side I'm a scholar of women who lived from 1680-1720 who wrote about war, politics, foreign affairs, and other topics traditionally addressed by men.

MEDIA/BOOKS: With Fr. Drew Christiansen, SJ (former editor-in-chief of the Jesuits' America magazine), I had the privilege of co-editing his book on nuclear disarmament and the Vatican for Georgetown University Press. It won second place for theology/ethics from the Catholic Media Association. We are at work on a companion volume now. I will soon publish a book titled Transform Now Plowshares, about Sister Megan Rice, for Liturgical Press ( My previous books were with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and I have been on NPR, the BBC, in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, on CNN, 60 Minutes, and in many other national publications. I'm an Associate of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and I helped the RSCJ sister open Anne Montgomery House in Washington, DC.


  • 2006–present
    Director, Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University
  • 1997–2006
    English Department faculty member, Georgetown University
  • 1994–1997
    Visiting scholar, UNC-Chapel Hill


  • 1994 
    The University of Virginia, PhD


  • 2020
    A World Free from Nuclear Weapons: The Vatican Conference on Disarmament, Georgetown University Press
  • 2018
    Why Ovid's Atalanta (and not Bacon's New Atlantis) was the Source of Delarivier Manley's Title "The New Atalantis", Notes & Queries
  • 2013
    Military Scandal and National Debt in Manley's New Atalantis, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
  • 2011
    How a Pie Fight Satirizes Whig-Tory Conflict in Delarivier Manley's The New Atalantis , Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • 2006
    Persistent Publishing Myths Among Scholarly Authors With Big-Bookstore Dreams, Change
  • 2000
    Traditional Degrees for Nontraditional Students, Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Grants and Contracts

  • 2013
    Engaging India Grant
    Funding Source:
    Georgetown University
  • 1993
    Poe Travel Grant
    Funding Source:
    University of Virginia
  • 1990
    Dupont Fellow
    Funding Source:
    University of Virginia

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Society of Early Americanists
  • National Press Club
  • American Historical Association
  • Associates of the Sacred Heart

Research Areas

  • Creative Writing (Incl. Playwriting) (190402)
  • Religion And Society (220405)
  • History Of Ideas (220209)
  • History And Philosophy Of The Humanities (220207)
  • Archival, Repository And Related Studies (210201)
  • Biography (210304)
  • British History (210305)
  • North American History (210312)