Jessie Vander Heide


  • Graduate

Dr. Jessie VanderHeide received her PhD in 2021from Lehigh. Jessie specializes in gender and sexuality in the antebellum United States. Her dissertation, “‘Sweethearts’ and ‘Lovers’: Female Bonds in the Early National and Antebellum United States,” examines the emotional, romantic, and erotic bonds that white, college-educated women formed between 1780 and 1860. Jessie’s project is especially focused on the ways in which female friendships were conduits through which women exercised power and negotiated identities in the early Republic. A piece of Jessie’s early research on women’s colleges, an essay entitled, “‘College Has Been the Means of My Conversion’: The Empowering Role of Evangelicalism at Southern Women’s Colleges, 1800-1865,” was published in Historical Papers: Canadian Society of Church History (2012: 89-102). Jessie is the recipient of a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2012-2016), a Strohl Summer Research Fellowship (2016), and a Doctoral Fellowship and Travel Grant from the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2017).