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Molly Wood, Ph.D.

Modern U.S. and Diplomatic History
(937) 327-7844
Hollenbeck Hall 314

Dr. Wood came to Wittenberg in August 1999 after completing a post-doctoral appointment at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Born in Washington, D.C., she was raised in Richmond, VA, earned a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia, a masters degree in history from the University of Richmond and her PhD in history from the University of South Carolina. She teaches courses in U.S. history, U.S. foreign relations and International Studies, modern world history and Latin American history. She serves as academic advisor to history majors and to history majors who will take the Integrated Social Studies track to become teachers. She recently completed a three and one-half year term as history department chair.

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
  • M.A. University of Richmond, Richmond, V.A.
  • B.A. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, V.A.

Recent Awards and Recognitions

  • Essay entitled, "Diplomatic Wives: The Politics of Domesticity and the "Social Game" in the U.S. Foreign Service, 1905-1941," voted one of the ten best essays in American history and reprinted in The Best American History Essays, 2007. Jacqueline Jones, ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • Elected to Ohio Academy of History Executive Council Spring 2007.
  • Franklin and Eleanor Library Association Grant (Awarded Spring 2006).
  • Edith and Frank Matthies Award, Wittenberg University, Spring 2005.
  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Travel Grant, Summer 2005.
  • Freeman Foundation Travel Grant (travel to Vietnam), Summer 2004.

Selected Publications

  • "˜'Commanding Beauty' and 'Gentle Charm': American Women and Gender in the Early Twentieth Century Foreign Service." Diplomatic History 31:3 (June 2007): 505-530
  • "Mothers, Wives, Workers and More: The Experience of American Women on the Home Front during World War I," in Personal Perspectives: World War I, Timothy Dowling, ed. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006): 273-296.
  • "Diplomatic Wives: The Politics of Domesticity and "the Social Game" in the U.S. Foreign Service, 1905-1941." Journal of Women's History 17:2 (June 2005): 142-165.
  • "A Diplomat's Wife in Mexico: Creating Professional, Political and National Identities in the Early Twentieth Century," Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies 25/3 (Winter 2005).
  • "Neither Peace Nor War: The Experience of American Diplomats in Occupied Europe," in Personal Perspectives: World War II, Timothy Dowling, ed. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005): 265-280.
  • "Mapping a National Campaign Strategy: Partisan Women in the Presidential Election of 1916." In We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960, eds. Kristie Miller, Melanie Gustafson and Elizabeth Israels Perry. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999).

Works in Progress:

  • Women and the Politics of Informal Diplomacy: The U.S. Foreign Service, 1880-1940. Book manuscript.
  • A Diplomat's Wife in Mexico: Gender, Politics and Diplomacy in the Early Twentieth Century. Book manuscript.

Research Interests

My special areas of research interest are U.S. Foreign Relations and Diplomacy, especially gender and cultural forces on diplomacy, in the first half of the twentieth century. I am currently revising a manuscript which explores the life of Edith O'Shaughnessy, the wife of an American diplomat in Mexico from 1911-1914 (during the Mexican Revolution). O'Shaughnessy wrote several books about her experiences in Mexico, but I am the first scholar to put her writing and her life in historical perspective. My research on O'Shaughnessy led me to a larger project on the Foreign Service, focusing on the ways in which the U.S. State Department expected men and women to represent the U.S. abroad. This research has taken me to the U.S. National Archives and several presidential libraries over the past several years. I have presented my research at national conferences such as the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, and I regularly take part in the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Conference.

Other Interests/Info

Dr. Wood in the News

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