Stephanie McKellop

Ph.D. Student

B.S. Psychology, History; Gardner-Webb University, 2015

Committee: Kathleen Brown (advisor), Daniel Richter, Kathy Peiss


Firstly, I am both available and happy to discuss the graduate program at Penn with interested students and to answer any queries one may have about joining us! Do not hesitate to reach out with questions about Penn as a program or my experience as a doctoral student here.

I am a historian of marriage and the family, with interests intersecting in areas of gender, sexuality, the body, and race. I work primarily on "vast early America," a conceptualization which moves beyond traditional Anglophone-speaking peoples and regions into the broader, multi-empire continental landscape. I am particularly interested in popular and deviant forms of marriage and divorce; in my research on the practice of wife-selling, I focus on the blurred lines between love matches and economic bargains, the notion of slavery and race in gender dynamics, and how human trafficking and prosititution manifested within matrimonial realms. My current project looks at how popular and folk methods of marriage and divorce clashed with church and state authorities in colonial Carolina.

In the past, I have studied the history of "family history" in early America, seeking to explore how different cultures practiced and understood family through disciplines of history, competitve notions of "blood," and gendered productions of what we have come to call genealogy, as well as issues of racial blame, immigration, and nationalism in marriage debates during the Progressive Era. Currently, I am working on several smaller projects regarding widowhood in early America as well as how folk and customary marriages informed cultural interactions in the colonial and revolutionary period. I am also working on a side project regarding trauma in history and how historians treat traumatized subjects.



Research Interests: 

colonial and early republican North America; women's history;
history of sexuality and queerness; marriage and family history; social history; cultural history; race, gender, and the body

Courses Taught: 

Teaching Assistant:
History of the American South to the Civil War (Fall 2016)
The American South: From Civil War to Sunbelt (Spring 2017)