Dr. Jeanne Petit

Betty Roelofs '53 Miller Professor of History, 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.


Dr. Petit specializes in the studies of religion, women, gender and immigration in the United States. She is presently researching the history of the interfaith movement that lead to the founding of the USO (United Service Organizations) during World War I and World War II. This research is part of a book project titled United for Uncle Sam: Protestants, Catholics, Jews and the Origins of the USO.


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

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

  • “Mobilizing the Spiritual Resources of the Nation: The 1918 United War Work Campaign,” Church History, Fall, 2021 
  • “‘See Him Through’: Masculinity and the War Work of the Knights of Columbus, 2017-1018” American Catholic Studies, Summer, 2021 
  • “‘We must not fail either the Church or the nation’: Mobilizing Catholic Laywomen in the World War I Era” U.S. Catholic Historian, Winter 2019 
  • “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
  • “‘Organized Catholic Womanhood: Suffrage, Citizenship and the National Council of Catholic Women,” U.S. Catholic Historian, winter 2008
  • “Breeders, Workers and Mothers: Gender and the Congressional Literacy Test Debate, 1896-97,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, January, 2004

selected grants and awards

  • NetVUE Faculty Development Grant 
  • Mellon Foundation Grand Challenges Grant for development of linked courses in the field of peace studies
  • 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
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Dr. Jeanne Petit

Phone Number616.395.7588

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