Christopher M.B. Allison, PhD
Recent Publications and Dominican Directory Record.
PhD, History of American Civilization, Harvard University
MA, History, Harvard University
MA, American Religious History, Yale Divinity School
BS, Social Sciences Education, Olivet Nazarene University
Christopher Allison is a historian of American religious history, with a particular specialty in early American material and visual culture. He is the second director of the Sister Mary Nona McGreal, OP, Center for Dominican Historical Studies, and affiliate faculty in the history department. He comes to Dominican from the University of Chicago, where he was Collegiate Assistant Professor of the Humanities, Harper & Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows for the Liberal Arts, and affiliate faculty in the history and art history departments from 2017–2020. He was trained as a historian of early American history, from contact to 1877 (the end of reconstruction), with a specialty in American religious history, African American history, material and visual culture, and digital humanities. He splits his time working for the McGreal Center and teaching in the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences as affiliate faculty in the history department, where he teaches American history courses. In his capacities at the McGreal Center, under the division of Mission and Ministry, he leads a historical center devoted to the history of the Dominican Order in the United States, which includes an archive and an active research agenda, supporting the study of the Order of Preachers in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. McGreal sponsors a publication series called OPUS, and is a resource for the whole Dominican family to preserve, tell, and innovate, so we can relate the stories of Dominicans in the United States, and serve the broader community of scholars of American religion and the wider public.
He received his PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 2017, an AM in History from Harvard in 2013. Before that, he received a M.A.R. in American Religious History from Yale Divinity School in 2010, and a B.S. in Social Sciences Education from Olivet Nazarene University in 2006. He has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, Yale University, Harvard University, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, and more. He is also a scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He has published on a diversity of topics, such as portraiture in early American history painting, Catholic relics and material culture found in the early settlement of Jamestown, teaching with collections, theoretical approaches to the material culture of the body, early Mormon women, Quaker collecting, transatlantic religious intellectual exchange, and English pottery and celebrity culture, among others. He is also active as a curator and in digital scholarship, producing videos and exhibitions on material culture, the history of Harvard Divinity School, the contemporary legacy of the slogan "Well-behaved women seldom make history," and how to study objects.
He has a forthcoming book under contract with University of Chicago Press on sacred material culture and the body in early America.
Sacred Spaces Driehaus Fellow
Jonathan Noble received a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University (2023). He also holds a M. Div. in Theological Studies from Multnomah University (2019) where he also received his BA in Biblical Studies (2013). He is responsible for coordination with prospective sites for the Sacred Spaces Project to assess interest and establish times for digital materials to be gathered. Jonathan also serves as the primary tour developer. Taking tours from raw images and video to finished tours, published online. Another aspect of his role in the McGreal Center is to oversee graduate and undergraduate students involved in the Sacred Spaces Project.
Archival and History Graduate Assistant
Delena Obermaier is a first-year graduate student pursuing an MLIS with certificates in Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services and Digital Curation. She received her Bachelor of Arts in history and film and media studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her desire to pursue museum and archival work solidified while she was working as a program assistant at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She seeks to combine her history and media studies background with digital archive, cataloging, and access work
Anna Donnelly, OP
Sister Marie Michelle Hackett, OP
Jill O’Brien, OP
Sister Connie Schoen, OP
Father Michael Winkels, OP
Father David Wright, OP