Elise Leal

PhD Candidate (expected 2018)
Advisor: Thomas Kidd
Research Interests: My research focuses on intersections between American religion and culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular emphasis on issues of gender, childhood, and reform movements within evangelicalism. My current project, Reforming Manners, Redeeming Souls: Sunday Schools and the Place of Childhood in Early American Protestantism, uses Sunday schools as a lens for examining how shifting constructions of childhood reflected, challenged, and reshaped the development of nineteenth-century evangelicalism while also transforming young people’s lived religion. My dissertation explores how reformers attempted to socialize children intro the growing Protestant community while also creating new spaces for adolescents to assume leadership roles with evangelicalism. My dissertation thereby applies age as a new category of analysis to American religious history, reconstructing the scholarly narrative by revealing that children and youth were crucial to the Christianization of the Republic.
Education: M.A.in History, Texas State University (San Marcos, TX), 2013; B.A. in Communication Studies, Regent University (Virginia Beach, VA), 2011
Awards/Fellowships: American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Boston Athenaeum Fellowship, Boston Athenaeum, 2016-2017; Lynn E. May Study Grant, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2016; Doctoral Scholarship Award, Phi Alpha Theta, 2016; Research Travel Grant, Congregational Library and Archives, 2016; George P. Hammond Paper Prize, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, 2016; Excellence in Student Involvement Award, Baylor University, 2016;Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award, Nineteenth-Century Research Seminar, Baylor University, 2014; Doctoral Administrative Fellow, Graduate School, Baylor University, 2016-2018; Graduate School Fellowship, Baylor University, 2013-2017; Merit Scholarship, Regent University, 2009-2011
Review of Sacred Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution, by James P. Byrd, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 39, Issue 2 (June 2016): 306-307.
Website: http://baylor.academia.edu/EliseLeal
Miscellaneous: I currently serve as the President of Baylor’s Graduate Student Association. As a Doctoral Administrative Fellow in the Baylor Graduate School, I direct the Preparing our Future Faculty (PROFF) and Teaching Capstone in Higher Education (TeaCHE) programs. I am also an appointee to the Spiritual Life and Moral Formation Task Forceand am a founding member of the Women in the Academy Mentorship Program.