Monica L. Mercado researches nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. women's history and the impact of religion on American culture. Her dissertation examines Catholic publishing and women's reading practices after the Civil War, using books and reading to demonstrate the ways in which gender, cultural and devotional life, and class mobility were inextricably linked for American Catholics by the turn of the century. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she was a Dissertation Fellow in residence at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, where she is also a director of the public history project "Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBT Life at the University of Chicago." Over the past several years, she has taught courses in U.S. history and gender studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a M.A. from the University of Chicago.