Katherine A. S. Sibley, Ph.D.

Professor, Director of American Studies Program
Office: Barbelin 112M
Phone: 610-660-1741
Email: sibley@sju.edu


B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

HIS 201-201 American History

HIS 366 Progressive Era to New Deal

Reform affected all levels of U.S. politics and society in the first half of the twentieth century, linking the first Roosevelt administration to the last. Besides cleaning up at home, Progressives and New Dealers also tried to save the world abroad, with varying success. This course will examine the origins, nature, contradictions and social and political consequences of these important reforming decades.

HIS 359 Postwar America, 1945 to the Present

This course will explore recent American history through an examination of political, social, and cultural developments, with particular emphases on the expanding role of the presidency, social movements embracing racial, class, and gender issues, and emerging cultural crosscurrents since World War II.

HIS 380 Foundations of American Foreign Policy, 1775-1914

This course explores the origins of American foreign relations from their earliest days before the Revolution until the First World War. No single explanation is offered, but instead, the course takes a broad approach, embracing such issues as independence, expansion, sectionalism, idealism, and imperialism.

HIS 381 United States as a Global Power, 1914 to the Present

This course covers the growth of United States global involvement from the First World War until the end of the Cold War. The Transformation from interwar isolationism to postwar internationalism and its attendant crusades and conflicts forms a major theme.

HIS 385 History of Women in America Since 1820

This course will explore the history of American women from the beginnings of the antebellum period to the dawn of the post-Cold War era. It will focus upon the evolution of women's family and work roles as well as their involvement in social reform and political movements and will emphasize both the unity and the diversity of women's historical experiences, based upon factors such as race, ethnicity, class, and region.



First Lady Florence Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009).

Red Spies in America: Stolen Secrets and the Dawn of the Cold War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007, 2004)

The Cold War (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood,1998)

Loans and Legitimacy: The Evolution of Soviet-American Relations, 1919-1933 (Lexington: University of Kentucky,1996). Winner, 1997 Phi Alpha Theta  Book Award for Best First Book.

Edited Volumes

A Companion to First Ladies (Wiley-Blackwell Presidential Companion Series). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2016. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118732227.html

A Companion to Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. (Wiley-Blackwell Presidential Companion Series). Hoboken, N.J..: Wiley, 2014.


Conferences Organized

“Reflections on The New Era: Reassessing the 1920s,” November 14-15, 2014, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2jaqLg96vE

Journal Special Issue Guest Editor

Guest editor for Diplomatic History, Special Issue on Sexuality and Gender in Foreign Relations 36:4 (September 2012), 696-98.

Peer Reviewed Articles

 “Menaced Men Massing Against Modernity: Steve Rosswurm’s The FBI and the Catholic Church,” Journal of American Communist History 11 (Summer 2012), 153-155 (Featured review).

“Matthew Connelly’s SHAFR in the World,” Roundtable, in Passport: The Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, September 2011.

“Once a Communist, Always a Communist: How the Government Lost Track of Time in its Pursuit of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” in Michael Crawford, Paul Harris, and Jo Alyson Parker, eds., Time and Memory: The Study of Time XII (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2006).



  • First Ladies
  • History of American Communism
  • American Women’s History


  • I am currently organizing two conferences for 2018 and will edit or co-edit the books that result:
  • “Southern First Ladies,” a conference to be held at the Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University, March 2018.  
  • “One Hundred Years of American Communism,” a conference to be held at Williams College, November 2018.