Sara Damiano

Damiano academic photo croppedI received my PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University, and I am an assistant professor in the history department at Texas State University, San Marcos. My research links gender, economic and legal history in order to investigate the operation of gendered power within social institutions in early America and the British Atlantic World.

My book project is titled To Her Credit: Gender, Law, and Economic Life in Eighteenth-Century American Cities.  In this study, I analyze women’s involvement in credit transactions and financial disputes inside and outside of court, interrogating the extent to which women’s authority changed during an era characterized by the development of commercial markets and formal legal institutions. My research focuses on  New England’s largest ports, Boston, MA, and Newport RI, and it engages in qualitative and quantitative comparisons of women’s and men’s activities.

This project is an extension of my first article, which examined female administrators of estates in eighteenth-century Newport and was published in the March 2013 issue of the New England Quarterly.  My second article, published in Early American Studies in Fall 2015, assessed divisions of responsibility between wives and other agents who acted on behalf of male household heads.

In 2016, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia. My research has also been supported by fellowships from institutions including the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the  American Historical Association, and the American Society for Legal History. I have previously taught at Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.