Catherine Allgor

Distinguished Fellow
Ph.D., Yale University, 1998

Areas of specialization: Early America; political women, public history

(951) 827-1972

Curriculum Vitae


After a career in the theatre, Catherine Allgor attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, as a Frances Perkins Scholar and graduated summa cum laude in History. She received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation on women and politics in early Washington garnered the George Washington Egleston Prize for the best dissertation in American History at Yale University and the Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation in U.S. Women's History in the country. Professor Allgor's book, Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government (University Press of Virginia, 2000), won the James H. Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. In 2002-2004, Professor Allgor was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University. She began her teaching career at Simmons College, a college for women in Boston, MA, and she is currently a Professor of History at the University of California, where she teaches classes on early America, politics, and the history of women's lives and gender. She has been awarded a prestigious Presidential Chair from the University of California. Professor Allgor has written on politics, women, and religion for national publications. Her biography, A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation (Henry Holt, 2006), was a finalist for the George Washington Prize, was the 2007-2008 selection for the UCR F1RST Book, and was made into an American Experience film, Dolley Madison. The year 2012 sees the publication of Catherine Allgor’s newest book from the University of Virginia Press. The Queen of America: Mary Cutts’s Life of Dolley Madison explores the memoir Mary Cutts wrote of her famous aunt. Allgor has also been nominated by President Obama to serve on the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.


  • University of California, Presidential Chair, 2009
  • George Washington Book Prize Finalist, 2007
  • Elected Member, American Antiquarian Society, 2003
  • Evelyn Davis Green Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2002-03
  • Mary Lyon Award for Distinguished Achievement, Mount Holyoke College, 2002
  • Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Annual Book Award, 2000
  • James H. Broussard First Book Prize, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 2000
  • The Lerner-Scott Prize for the Best Dissertation in U.S. Women's History, Organization of American Historians, 1999
  • George Washington Egleston Prize for the Best Dissertation in American History, Yale University, 1998
  • Yale Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University, 1998
  • Webb-Smith Essay Competition, University of Texas at Arlington, 1998
  • Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, Yale University, 1996
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Center for the Study of New England History at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1995
  • Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Dissertation Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 1995


  • Editorial Board, Journal of the Early Republic, 2010-2013
  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program, 2008-present
  • Nominating Committee, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 2004-2006
    • Memberships:
    • The American Historical Association
    • The Organization of American Historians
    • The Society of Historians of the Early American Republic
    • The American Studies Association
    • The Western Women's History Association
    • Berkshire Conference of Women's Historians
    • Southern History Association
    • Southern Women's History Association.