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Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz

Associate Professor & Social Science Teaching Program Coordinator

Office: 2556 - Coleman Hall
Email: blaughlinschul@eiu.edu

Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz is a historian of the 19th century United States who specializes in in American women's history. Her first book, The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism, was published in 2013 and was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2014. She is now working on a project about "the woman question" in The Woman's Journal and nineteenth century American public life as well as a number of other shorter teaching-based projects. She teaches the US survey, American women's history, history of the American family, social studies teaching methods, and historical research/writing, and she serves as coordinator for Social Science Teaching. She also works with the McCormick Foundation as a Civics Instructional Coach to assist middle level and secondary Civics teachers in downstate IL and writes about civics topics for IllinoisCivics.org. 




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 2400: Introduction to Social Studies Teaching
SOS 3400: Social Studies Teaching Methods for Middle and Secondary Schools
HIS 51601: Historians, Biography, and Microhistory
HIS 5150: American Women's History




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








  • "A Historical Inquiry into John Brown and His Raiders” (co-authored with Jay Bickford), in Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, ed. Mike Karpyn et al. (Peter Lang, forthcoming)
  • “Confronting the Disconnect in Student Understanding of the Causes of the Civil War,” in Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, ed. Mike Karpyn et al. (Peter Lang, forthcoming)
  • “The Fate of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans,” at Illinois Civics Education Resource Site, http://documents.mccormickfoundation.org/lesson-plans/fate-of-confederate-monuments.pdf 
  • "Women's Rights and Gender Ideology, 1848-1890," Routledge Companion to the Nineteenth Century, ed. Jonathan Wells (Routledge, 2018)
  • "Keep on Marching: The Women’s Marches of 1876, 1913, and 2017,” Nursing Clio, February 9, 2017, https://nursingclio.org/2017/02/09/keep-on-marchin-the-womens-marches-of-1876-1913-and-2017/
  • "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

  • ​​​​​​“The Women of John Brown’s Family and the Long Reach of the Civil War,” The Henry Ford, May 27, 2019 (Civil War Remembrance weekend)
  • “John Brown’s Children and the Long Reach of the Civil War,” Civil War Museum, Kenosha, WI, March 16, 2019 (Home front Seminar)
  • “‘Strong-Minded Tendencies’: Lucy Stone, Radical Woman’s Rights, Motherhood, and the Civil War,” Indiana Association of Historians, University of Indianapolis, February 23, 2018
  • "Lucy Stone, Women's Rights, and Intellectual Life," SHEAR Conference, July 2017
  • "Lucy Stone and the Dilemma of the Mother-Citizen," Organization of American Historians Conference, April 2017
  • "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

  • College of Arts and Humanities Travel Award, Eastern Illinois University, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Faculty Development Partnership Grant, Eastern Illinois University, 2017
  • CFR Faculty Research Grant, summer 2016
  • URSCA Sponsor Grants, summer 2015, fall 2015
  • Redden Grants for Undergraduate Education, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • 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










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