Kathy Cummings

Contact Information

Kathleen Cummings Kathy Cummings
Director, Cushwa Center
403 Geddes Hall


American Studies


Ph.D., U.S. History, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1999.

M.A., History, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1994.

M.A., History, University of Scranton, Scranton, Penn., 1993.

B.A., History/Philosophy, magna cum laude, University of Scranton, 1993. Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Program/Spanish minor/Full four-year tuition Presidential scholarship

Select publications

New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era, University of North Carolina Press, 2009 (paperback, 2010).

Reviewed in The American Historical Review, American Catholic Studies, The Catholic Historical Review, America Magazine, Journal of American History, Choice, Journal of Religion, Church History, Annals of Iowa, Reviews in American History, American Quarterly, Indiana Magazine of History, U.S. Catholic Historian (featured review), Journal of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era, Essays in History, Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians, Journal of Women’s History

***Winner of three 2009 Catholic Press Association Awards (Second place, Education; Third Place, Gender; Honorable Mention, History).

Catholicism in the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History. Co-edited with R. Scott Appleby, Cornell University Press, 2012


Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame. She is also an associate professor of American studies and history at Notre Dame.

Cummings published her first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, in 2009 with the University of North Carolina Press. She co-edited (with R. Scott Appleby) Catholics and the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History (Cornell University Press, 2012). Cummings’ current book project, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in America, was supported by an NEH Fellowship during the academic year 2010-11 and will be published with the University of North Carolina Press.

In June 2014, Cummings convened (with John McGreevy) Notre Dame’s Annual Italian Studies seminar in Rome. The seminar explored transatlantic approaches to the study of American Catholicism, with a particular focus on connections between Italy and the United States. Cummings is also serving as co-director (with Timothy Matovina and Robert Orsi) of the Cushwa Center’s “Lived History of Vatican II Project,” which explores the local implementation of the Council in 15 dioceses on six continents. The project will result in an edited volume to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Cummings presently oversees the History of Women Religious, an academic organization devoted to the historical study of Catholic sisters in the United States. Cummings often serves as a media commentator on contemporary events in the Church. She appeared on NBC’s live coverage of the conclave in March 2013, the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXII in April 2014, and will appear on NBC’s live coverage of the papal visit to the United States in September 2015. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times and other media outlets on Catholic subjects. For more information on her appearances see cushwa.nd.edu/news/in-the-media.