Kathleen Cummings

Kathleen Cummings


Associate Professor; Concurrent Associate Professor; Fellow

Graduate Program Field

United States History


History of women, American religion, and the study of U.S. Catholicism


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Scranton
B.A., University of Scranton


Kathleen Sprows Cummings is an Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Notre Dame. Her areas of teaching and research include the history of women, immigration, and religion in the United States. 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. A volume co-edited with R. Scott Appleby, Catholics and the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History (Cornell University Press), was published in 2012. Cummings’ current project, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in America, was supported by an NEH Fellowship during the academic year 2010-11. She has published academic and scholarly articles on this topic, and is recognized as a national expert on canonization.

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 fifteen dioceses on six continents. In May 2015 she will convene, with Carmen Mangion and Alana Harris, “The Nun in the World: Catholic Sisters and the Second Vatican Council,” an international conference in London.  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. 

Contact Information

Office: 1040 Flanner; 403 Geddes
Office: 574-631-3732
Mailing address:
1040 Flanner Hall or 403 Geddes Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556