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Monica Najar

Associate Professor

Room 345 - Maginnes Hall

Ph.D., U.S. and U.S. Women’s History Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2000

M.A., U.S. and U.S. Women’s History Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1992

B.A., History, University of California, Berkeley, 1990

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Additional Interests

  • History of US Women and Gender
  • Sexuality in the U.S.
  • History of U.S. Religion
  • The Early American Republic

Research Statement

Monica Najar is a scholar of gender, religion, and the state in the late eighteenth and and nineteenth century U.S.  She is currently at work on a book-length study of the self-proclaimed former nun Maria Monk and her book, Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu, the bestselling convent narrative of the nineteenth century. The book takes up anti-Catholicism, scandal, fame, and life on the margins in the antebellum urban world.


Monica Najar is an associate professor in the Department of History and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (pronouns: she/her). She is currently the Director of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and previously served as the Director of the Lehigh University Press.

Evangelizing the South: A Social History of Church and State in Early America. Religion in America Series. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)

"Sectarians and Strategies of Dissent in Colonial Virginia" in Paul Rasor and Richard E. Bond, eds., From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2011), ch. 4

“The Devil’s in the Details: Revisiting the Early Baptist South,” The Journal of Southern Religion, vol. XIII, 2011

“ ‘More Striking . . . Than the Loudest Preaching’: Baptist Women’s Testimony in the Early Evangelical South,” Perspectives in Religious Studies, 36 (Winter 2009), 433-443

“‘Meddling With Emancipation’: Baptists, Authority, and the Rift over Slavery in the Upper South,” Journal of the Early Republic, 25 (Summer 2005): 157-186. 
Reprinted in The Best American History Essays 2007, ed. Jacqueline Jones (New York: Palgrave Macmillan and the Organization of American Historians, 2007)


Monica Najar regular teaches classes on the histories of women, gender, sexuality, family, the American early republic, and the era of the Civil War, as well as the introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.