Susan J. Pearson
Office: Harris Hall #338
Susan J. Pearson (PhD University of North Carolina, 2004) is an historian of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States with special interest in the cultural politics of reform, rights discourse, the development of American liberalism, the history of childhood, and the history of human-animal relations.
Her first book, The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America (University of Chicago Press, 2011) examines the institutional and cultural linkages between animal and child protection organizations. Professor Pearson is also the author of “Infantile Specimens: Showing Babies in Nineteenth Century America,” which won the Best Article Prize from the Society for the History of Children and Youth.
Professor Pearson is at work on a new project that examines the spread of compulsory and universal birth registration in the United States. Her research details how a once-locally and unevenly-practiced form of recordkeeping became the most essential mechanism for recording and establishing individual identity.
She is also the founding editor of H-Animal, the H-Net Network on Animal Studies.