Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings 2015

Director, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism
Associate Professor of American Studies

403 Geddes Hall

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Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame. She is also an associate professor of American studies and history at Notre Dame.


Cummings published her first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, in 2009 with the University of North Carolina Press. She co-edited (with R. Scott Appleby) Catholics and the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History (Cornell University Press, 2012). Cummings’ current book project, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in America, was supported by an NEH Fellowship during the academic year 2010-11 and will be published in 2017 with the University of North Carolina Press.

In June 2014, Cummings convened (with John McGreevy) Notre Dame’s Annual Italian Studies seminar in Rome. The seminar explored transatlantic approaches to the study of American Catholicism, with a particular focus on connections between Italy and the United States. Cummings is also serving as co-director (with Timothy Matovina and Robert Orsi) of the Cushwa Center’s “Lived History of Vatican II Project,” which explores the local implementation of the Council in 15 dioceses on six continents. The project will result in an edited volume to be published in 2016 with Cambridge University Press.

Cummings presently oversees the History of Women Religious, an academic organization devoted to the historical study of Catholic sisters in the United States. Cummings often serves as a media commentator on contemporary events in the Church. She appeared on NBC’s live coverage of the conclave in March 2013, the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXII in April 2014, and will appear on NBC’s live coverage of the papal visit to the United States in September 2015. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times and other media outlets on Catholic subjects. For more information on her appearances see cushwa.nd.edu/news/in-the-media.