Christopher M.B. Allison, PhD

Director

callison@dom.edu (708) 524-6677

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 & 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 Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 2017, an A.M. 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.

Aaron Reisberg

Archivist
areisberg@dom.edu (708) 524-6546

Aaron Reisberg holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University, with a Certificate in Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Religious Studies from Bradley University in Peoria, IL.

Aaron oversees the maintenance, preservation, and access of the McGreal Center’s collections. His detailed work includes building finding aids, crafting policies and forms, performing research requests, and managing the organization and digitization of materials. He supervises student workers, interns, and volunteers in preserving and promoting archives that explore the history of the Order of Preachers in the United States. Aaron is passionate about sharing his knowledge and providing access to unique manuscripts and artifacts. He views the Center’s Archives as a lab to train students that are interested in entering the profession. His supervisory philosophy is driven by a strong belief in preparing students for success after college. By educating students on the best use of tools, technologies, and practices, his intention is to aid both in their career and self-growth. 

Aaron previously served as both Museum Attendant and Assistant Archivist at the Skokie Heritage Museum, where he created exhibits, led tours, and preserved collections related to the Village’s history. He volunteered with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and co-developed an institutional archives. 

His interests include digital content management and access, coding, and historical education. Additionally, Aaron enjoys writing, drawing, and exploring nature.

Graduate Assistant Archivist

Rachael Hill

Graduate History Curatorial Fellow

Katelyn Kuchler

Volunteers

Jenny Begich
Ruth Bulinski
Jana Galos
Sister Mary Kremer, OP
Duncan Mak
Sister Beth Meegan, OP

Advisory Board

Jeffrey Burns
Patricia Carroll
Anna Donnelly, OP
Sister Marie Michelle Hackett, OP
Sister Diane Kennedy, OP
Darra Mulderry
Claire Noonan
Liesl Orenic
Jill O’Brien, OP
Cecilia Salvatore
Sister Connie Schoen, OP
Ellen Skerrett
Father Michael Winkels, OP
Father David Wright, OP