Dr. Jeanne Petit

Professor of History and Department Chair
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Dr. Petit has been a professor of history at Hope College since 2000. She serves on the Women's and Gender Studies Council, previously directed the Women's and Gender Studies program and teaches a variety of United States history courses, including U.S. Cultural History, World War I America, Recent America, and Women and Gender in United States History. In addition, she teaches interdisciplinary classes such as First Year Seminar and Cultural Heritage. 


Dr. Petit specializes in the studies of women, gender, immigration and religion in the early 20th Century. She is presently researching the history of American Catholic women during World War I and the post-war era.

She is also researching the United War Work Campaign, an interfaith program that raised funds to support U.S. soldiers during World War I. As part of this project, Dr. Petit took four students to conduct research at the Library of Congress in summer 2015 as part of a Great Lakes College Association grant. Their final product was a website, For the Boys over There: The 1918 United War Work Campaign.


  • Ph.D., 2000, University of Notre Dame
  • M.A., 1993, University of Notre Dame
  • B.A., 1992, Knox College

selected grants and awards

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grant
  • Summer Seminar Award, Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion
  • Littleton Griswold Grant for Research in the History of Law and Society
  • Great Lakes College Association Library of Congress Research Initiative Grant
  • Dorothy Mohler Research Grant, The Catholic University of America
  • Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism Travel Grant, University of Notre Dame
  • Teagle Course Development Grant

published works


  • The Men and Women We Want: Gender, Race and the Progressive Era Literacy Test Debate, Gender and Race in American History Series, University of Rochester Press, 2010

Selected Articles

  • “Working for God, Country, and 'Our Poor Mexicans': Catholic Women and Americanization at the San Antonio National Catholic Community House, 1919–1924” Journal of American Ethnic History, spring 2015
  • “Up Against a Stone Wall: Gender, Power and the National Catholic Community Houses,” American Catholic Studies, summer 2012
  • “What Challenges Did Catholic Laywomen Face When They Took up Social Work in Post-World War I East St. Louis?” Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600–2000, Alexander Street Press/SUNY Binghamton, fall 2010
  • “‘Organized Catholic Womanhood: Suffrage, Citizenship and the National Council of Catholic Women,” U.S. Catholic Historian, winter 2008
  • “‘Our Immigrant Co-Religionists’: The National Catholic Welfare Conference as an Advocate for Immigrants, 1919–1929,” Immigrant Rights in the Shadow of United States Citizenship, New York University Press, 2008
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Dr. Jeanne Petit

Phone Number616.395.7588

Lubbers Hall-Room 324 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423-3516