Carnegie Mellon University

Lisa Tetrault

Lisa Tetrault

Associate Professor


Professor Tetrault specializes in the history of U.S. women and gender. Her research and teaching interests focus on the nineteenth-century, the history of political economy, the history of social movements (particularly feminism), women’s health, narrativity, and the politics of memory. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of History.

Her first book, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) won the Organization of American Historians' inaugural Mary Jurich Nickliss women's history book prize. The Myth uncovers the politics behind the manufacture of an origins myth for feminism. Typically, the beginning of a women’s rights movement in the United States is dated to 1848, to the first women’s rights meeting in Seneca Falls, NY. This origins story, however, did not become commonplace until much late, born of the politics of Reconstruction. A handful of women created this story in response to Reconstruction-era politics, some forty to fifty years after the actual meeting, with broad-reaching implications for the content and direction of the movement.

Professor Tetrault has received long-term fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, the Newberry Library, and the Smithsonian Institution. The American Historical Association and the Library of Congress awarded her the 2007 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship, then given for the most promising book by a young historian. She has also received funding from the Huntington Library, the Schlesinger Library, the Sophia Smith Collection, and many others.

Listen to Lisa Tetrault: Talk of the Nation: Oratory in America


Ph.D.: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004


  • Lisa Tetrault, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014)
  • Lisa Tetrault, "We Shall Be Remembered: Susan B. Anthony and the Politics of Writing History," in Christine Ridarsky and Mary Huth, eds., Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights (University of Rochester Press, 2012)
  • Lisa Tetrault, “Purists vs. Pragmatists,” book review of Carol Faulkner, Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America (Penn, 2011) & Faye Dudden, Fighting Chance: The Struggle Over Woman Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America (UNC, 2011), in Women’s Review of Books (May/June 2012).
  • Lisa Tetrault, “The Incorporation of American Feminism: Suffragists on the Post-Bellum Lyceum,” Journal of American History 96:4 (March 2010).
  • Lisa Tetrault, “A Paper Trail: Piecing Together the Life of Phebe Hanaford,” Historic Nantucket 51:4 (Fall 2002)
  • Lisa Tetrault, “Rock and Roll,” “Yellow Journalism,” & “Women, Citizenship of Married,” encyclopedia entries in Dictionary of American History, 3rd. edition, Stanley I. Kutler, ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2002)
  • Lisa Tetrault, book review of Ellen Carol DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), in Law and History Review 20:2 (Summer 2002)

Courses Taught

  • Body Politics: Women and Health in America
  • Women, Politics, and Protest: Women’s Rights Movements in the U.S.
  • Women in America: A Women’s History Survey
  • Development of American Culture
  • The Civil War Era, 1848-1877
  • U.S. Pro-Seminar (graduate course)
  • Transnational Gender Seminar (graduate course)

Department Member Since: 2005