Elise Leal

Ph.D., 2018
High Res Photo

Advisor: Thomas Kidd

Research Interests: My research focuses on early American religion and culture, with particular emphasis on issues of gender, childhood, and reform movements within evangelicalism. My current project, Reforming Manners, Redeeming Souls: Sunday Schools, Childhood, and the Making of Evangelical Benevolence, uses Sunday schools as a lens to argue for the centrality of childhood and youth to the rise of evangelical volunteerism. My dissertation applies age as a new category of analysis to American religious history to reveal that nineteenth-century benevolent reform, and by extension the entire Protestant project of Christianizing the republic, was child-centric and youth-led to a degree overlooked by historians. Thus, the priorities, authority structures, and growth strategies undergirding the growth of evangelicalism in the early national and antebellum eras cannot be understood apart from childhood.

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; Doctoral Research Travel Award, Baylor University, 2017; Short-Term Research Fellowship Alternate, American Antiquarian Society, 2017; Short-Term Research Fellowship Alternate, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2017; Nominee, Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, Baylor University, 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 Special Graduate Assistant to the President of Baylor University, helping to craft speeches for major university and civic events. I am also a Doctoral Administrative Fellow in the Baylor Graduate School, where I direct the Preparing our Future Faculty and Teaching Capstone in Higher Education programs, along with Women in the Academy. Additionally, I serve on the Mentorship Program Committee for the Coordinating Council for Women in History.