B.A. English and History, University of California, Davis, 1996
M.A. Program in the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1997
Ph.D. History, University of Chicago, 2004
American West, Gender, Race, Native America, Environment, Social History
Throughout my career, I’ve been motivated by questions about the intersections of gender, place, labor, and race in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the US. My first book, Federal Fathers & Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933, was a study of the personnel of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Focusing on Native and non-Native female employees, it explored the federal government’s use of intimate colonialism in developing its workforce. My current research continues to ask similar questions, exploring them in two different projects. In Joining the Parade: Women of Color Challenge the Mainstream Suffrage Movement I follow the lead of feminist scholars of color who have called for alternative “genealogies of feminism.” I explore the activism of African American, Indigenous, Chinese American, and Hispana women who engaged the mainstream suffrage movement in the decades before and after the ratification of the nineteenth amendment. Mainstream suffragists as well as the broader public often used images of non-white women to debate the question of women’s rights. This created entry points that those women used to address the nation. My second project, Indians on the Road: Gender, Race, and Regional Identity reimagines Indian country on the West Coast through the lens of Indigenous people’s relationships with the highways (especially Highway 101) that often bisected their lands, forming corridors of conquest and environmental change while simultaneously connecting them in new and sometimes empowering ways to other people and places.
Professor Cahill joined the department of History in 2004 as a historian of the U.S. and U.S. West. Her areas of interest include the intersection of race,labor, gender and place in the U.S. West as well as the role of the federal government in that region. Her teaching and research interests include US/US West,Navitive American and Indigenous, Environmental, Race, Women and Gender and Social History in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Blog: Women’s West: Images of Women on the Western Landscape http://womenswest.wordpress.com/
Federal Fathers & Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-8557.html
Co-Editor of Intermarriage in American Indian History: Explorations in Power and Intimacy in North America, a special issue of Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (Fall 2008)
2013-2014 Short Term Fellowship, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
2012 Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award for Federal Fathers & Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (University of North Carolina Press, 2011).
2012 Finalist, Weber-Clements Book Prize, Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University for Federal Fathers and Mothers
2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
2009-2010 Bill and Rita Clements Fellow,at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.
2003-2004 Michigan State University American Indian Studies Program Pre-doctoral Fellow.
2002 Organization of American Historians Horace Samuel & Marion Galbraith Merrill Travel Grant in Twentieth-Century American Political History.
2001-2002 Spencer Foundation/Newberry Library History of Education Fellowship.
2000 Huntington Library/Western History Association Martin Ridge Fellowship Award
2000 Western History Association Walter Rundell Dissertation Fellowship.