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Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz

Assistant Professor, Social Science Teaching Program Coordinator

Office: 2556 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-6362
Email: blaughlinschul@eiu.edu

I am a historian of the 19th century United States, and I specialize in in American women's history and the broad Civil War era. My book, The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism, was published in 2013. I am also the coordinator for Social Science Teaching, and I work with students interested in teacher licensure in the History Department as well as in the Social Science Studies program (for those who wish to concentrate in Geography, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology-Anthropology while seeking teacher licensure).

Fall 2015 Office Hours
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10-11:45am
and by appointment

Frequently Taught Courses

HIS 2010: The United States to 1877
HIS 2020: The United States since 1877
HIS 2500: Historical Research and Writing
HIS 3900: Women in American History
SOS 3400: Social Science Teaching Methods
HIS 51601: Historians, Biography, and Microhistory
HIS 51601: American Women and Gender in the Long Nineteenth Century


PhD, Indiana University, 2009
MA, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2000
BA, Knox College, 1998

Professional Organizations

  • Organization of American Historians
  • Society of Civil War Historians
  • National Council on History Education
  • National Council for the Social Studies

Speakers Bureau

For more information, please visit the Speakers Bureau Webpage.


My book on the women of abolitionist John Brown's family was published by Cornell University Press in 2013, and I continue to be interested in the field of Civil War memory.  Presently I am also beginning a new project on 19th century antislavery and women's rights reformers and their ideas about and experiences of motherhood, personhood, and women's rights.


  • "Women's Rights and Gender Ideology, 1848-1890," Routledge Companion to the Nineteenth Century, ed. Jonathan Wells (forthcoming)
  • “The Lincolns as Parents," Blackwell Companion on Lincoln, ed. Michael Green (forthcoming)
  • "How John Brown Smashed the Whiskey Barrel: John Brown's Children in Southern California and Memory of the American Civil War," California History 90 (fall 2015)
  • The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism (Cornell University Press, 2013)
  • “John Brown’s Widow in Topeka: The Contested over Brown’s Legacy in Kansas in 1882 and Beyond,” Kansas History (2013)
  •  “‘Endangering the Peace of Society’:  Abolitionist Agitation and Mob Reaction in St. Louis and Alton, 1836–1838,” Missouri Historical Review 45 (October 2000), 1–22. Reprinted in St. Louis from Village to Metropolis: Essays from the Missouri Historical Review, 1906–2006, ed. Louis Gerteis (St. Louis: Lindenwood University Press, 2009).
  • “How was Higher Education seen as an Antidote to Female Sexual Vulnerability, 1780–1830?,” Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600–2000 , June 2007.

Conference Presentations

  • "Engaging Students in Historical Inquiry," Missouri Council on History Education, September 2015
  • “‘Relicts’ of the War: Famous Widows and the Shaping of Civil War Memory,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s Historian, Toronto, May 2014
  • “‘he depended on me to watch’: Annie Brown, Housekeeper and Guerilla,” Society of Civil War Historians Annual Conference, Lexington, KY, June 2012
  •  “Making eoc Tests Central but Not Dominant: Idealistic Pragmatism in the History Education Classroom,” OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, April 19-22, 2012
  •  “Using Primary Sources to Teach the Revolutionary Era,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 23, 2012
  •  “Children of Notoriety: Interpreting the War’s Legacy at the Deaths of Owen Brown and Winnie Davis,” “The Legacy of the Civil War: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 10-12, 2011
  • “Illuminating Invisible Pasts: Utilizing the Sesquicentennial to Re-Imagine the Interpretations of the Civil War Era,” panel presentation, Symposium on Public History and the American Civil War, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, March 26, 2011
  • “Teaching the Outbreak of the War through John Brown’s Raid,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 24, 2011
  •  “The Civil War: A Historian’s Roundtable,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 24, 2011
  • “‘Thanks to your own struggles … the slave is free’: Mary Brown’s 1882 Eastern Tour,” Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2010 [panel organizer: “The Memory of John Brown & Radical Antislavery Culture in America, 1880–1940”]
  • “Annie Brown Adams and the Harpers Ferry Raid,” “John Brown Remembered:  150th Anniversary of the Raid on Harpers Ferry,” Harpers Ferry National Park, Harpers Ferry, WV, October 14–17, 2009
  • “‘Am I Not John Brown’s Daughter?’: Annie Brown and Abolitionist Activism,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, Minneapolis, MN, June 2008
  • “Could I Not Do Something for the Cause? The Brown Women and John Brown’s Female Networks,” Brown Bag Talk, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA, June 6, 2007
  • “‘I am the only person who can honestly claim to be ‘the last survivor’: The Brown Women in Gilded Age and Progressive America,” American Historical Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, January 2007

Funding & Grants

  • Redden Grants for Undergraduate Education, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2008–2009
  • Fletcher Jones Foundation Huntington Research Fellow, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2008–2009
  • Fellowship, Schlesinger Library Summer Seminar on Gender History: “Writing Past Lives: Biography as History,” June 24–29, 2007
  • Gilder Lehrman Fellowship, 2006–2007
  • Ruth R. & Alyson R. Miller Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2006–2007
  • James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship in American History, 1998–2000