Cathleene Hellier


Email: [[e|cbhellier]]


Cathleene Betz Hellier is a Ph.D. student in the American Studies Program. A historian for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, her research interests include colonial American history and culture; gender studies; language; African American slavery, particularly as a gendered construct; slave narratives and oral histories; and the performance of etiquette and social ritual. Her dissertation will examine male domestic slavery in Virginia in the colonial and early national periods.


M.A. American Studies, The College of William & Mary, 1989. Thesis: “Private Land Development in Williamsburg, 1699-1748: Building a Community.”

M.A. Secondary Education with emphasis in Museum Education, The College of William and Mary, 1985.

B.S. Secondary Education, English major, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 1977. 

Recent Papers and Publications

“The Waiting Man: The Black and White Masculinities of Male Enslaved Domestics in Virginia, 1750-1799,” a paper presented at the SHEAR Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, July 2014.

“’Miss in her Teens’: Parenting Adolescent Gentlewomen in Eighteenth-Century England and Virginia,” a paper presented at the 3rd Global Conference: Childhood, Oxford, UK, July 2013. 

Eighteenth-Century English as a Second Language (Williamsburg: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2011), a series of lessons in the form of a CD and book that teaches museum interpreters how to translate twenty-first-century English into the eighteenth-century English appropriate to their characters’ social status and race.  Derived from both primary and secondary linguistic research of both colonial Anglo-Virginian and African-American speech.