William and Mary
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Laura  Ansley

ABD History

Current Research: Sexual health and education for children in the American South at the turn of the twentieth century


Laura Ansley is a Ph.D. candidate who focuses on gender, sexuality and cultural history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  She received her M.A. from the College of William and Mary in 2012 with a thesis entitled "The Changing Girl: Sex Education and Prescriptions of White Girlhood," which examines sex education books written for girls and young women from the mid-1890s through about 1920.  In March 2013, she passed comprehensive exams in four fields: colonial, nineteenth, and twentieth century American history and the history of the British Empire.  She is now embarking on a dissertation project examining sex education in the American South at the turn of the twentieth century.

She received her B.A. from Case Western Reserve University in history and American studies in 2010, earning honors in history and graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  During her undergraduate years, she participated in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's History Scholars program in 2008, presented at the 2010 Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention, and wrote a senior thesis and honors thesis on the gendering of heroines and heroes in nineteenth-century western dime novels.  Laura calls Cleveland, OH home, and she is still learning to appreciate a winter without much snow and a summer without Cleveland Indians baseball.