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Professor of History and Gender Studies, Boise State University

Dr. Lisa McClain is a Professor of History and Gender Studies at Boise State University. Her fields of specialty include the history of religion and the intersections of gender, religion, and popular culture. She is the author of the books "Divided Loyalties? Pushing the Boundaries of Gender and Lay Roles in the Catholic Church, 1534-1829," published in 2018 (paperback, 2020) by Palgrave MacMillan and "Lest We Be Damned: Practical Innovation and Lived Experience among Catholics in Protestant England 1559-1642," published by Routledge in 2004; chapters in the books "Women during the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity," published by Palgrave MacMillan, and "A Companion to Catholicism and Recusancy in Britain and Ireland: From Reformation to Emancipation" published by Brill and forthcoming in 2021; and articles in journals such as Church History, Sixteenth Century Journal, the Catholic Historical Review, the Journal of Religious History, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature.

She served as Director of Gender Studies from 2002-2011, during which time the program received the Emerging Center Award from the National Council for Research on Women in 2010. Dr. McClain has researched the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault perpetrated against women with disabilities as part of her work in Gender Studies. Her work has been published in Barbara Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities published by the Center for Women Policy Studies based in Washington DC.

Dr. McClain is an activist for equity issues—particularly gender, religion, disability, and sexual orientation. She has been featured on podcasts such as the Pride Podcast and Made to Motivate. For her work, she was named an Idaho Woman of the Year by the Idaho Business Review in 2008, an Idaho Woman Making History in 2009, and was a Les Bois Awards finalist in 2009 as well. She is married, and she and her husband have a daughter and a son.


  • –present
    Professor of History and Gender Studies, Boise State University