Open menu button Close menu button

Catherine J. Lavender

Associate Professor

Professor Catherine Lavender moved east to Staten Island to join the faculty in History at CSI in 1996.  Since 1998, she has served as the Director of the American Studies Program.  She served as Coordinator of the Master of Arts in History Program from 2002 to 2009, and has been a member of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program faculty at the The Graduate Center of CUNY since 1998.  She is also a member of the Macaulay Honors College faculty, for which she teaches Seminar II on "The Peopling of New York City".

Her research focuses on women's and gender history of the American Southwestern Borderlands, with a special emphasis on interactions between Native American peoples and European newcomers to the region in the century following 1848.  As a cultural historian of the West, she writes about literary and ethnographic texts produced in the region as well as painting and photography.

She is also involved in international education at CSI, and has traveled to China and Vietnam to represent the College.  In 1998, she was a co-recipient of CUNY's Dean Michael Ribaudo Award for Innovation in Technology for her work on the "Global Virtual Classroom", a globalization course taught via realtime video linkup in Staten Island, China, and Turkey.  She is currently developing a study abroad course which will be taught using the virtual classroom in Staten Island and sites in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with a study tour for CSI students in Vietnam.


BA, History, University of Colorado at Boulder

MA, History, University of Colorado at Boulder

PhD, History, University of Colorado at Boulder

Scholarship and Publications

Professor Lavender's books include "Scientists and Storytellers: Feminist Anthropologists and the Construction of the American Southwest" (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006), and "The Western Women's Reader" (New York: HarperCollins, 2000, co-edited with Lillian Schlissel).  She has also published book chapters about the women anthropologists Ruth Fulton Benedict and Ruth Murray Underhill.  Her current research projects include a book manuscript about the Great Depression-era murder of a woman anthropologist on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona, as well as a study of an early-twentieth-century Mescalero Apache religious leader.

Professor Lavender's research has been internally funded by a number of PSC-CUNY Research Grants, as well as a CSI Presidential Award of Reassigned Time for Junior Faculty, and a CSI Summer Research Fellowship for Junior Faculty.  She has received external funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), The American Philosophical Society's Mellon Foundation Resident Research Fellowship, The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).  She was elected to Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, in 1986.


Contact Information

Office: Building 2N Room 203
Fax: 718.982.2864