Megan Threlkeld

Megan Threlkeld

Chair of History
Position Type
- Present
Modern US, Women's History
She / Her

As a graduate of a small liberal arts college (Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin) and a lifelong Midwesterner, I am delighted to be at Denison, where I enjoy working closely with students and colleagues from across campus.

B.A., Lawrence University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Learning & Teaching

  • W101 (First-Year Writing Workship): History Wars
  • HIST 190: Citizenship & Belonging in U.S. History
  • HIST 192/WGST 223: U.S. Women’s History
  • HIST 195: The United States in the World, 1890-present
  • HIST 205: Protests of the 1960s
  • HIST 392/BLST 332: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Meanings of Equality
  • HIST 430 (Senior Seminar): The United States Becomes a World Power
Academic Positions
  • Professor of History, 2020-present
  • Associate Professor of History, 2014-2020
  • Assistant Professor of History, 2008-2014



I am a historian of the 20th-century United States, focusing especially on women, foreign relations, and law.

My first book, Pan American Women: U.S. Internationalists and Revolutionary Mexico (Penn, 2014), analyzed U.S. and Mexican women’s efforts at cooperation during the years of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1940).

My second, Citizens of the World: U.S. Women and Global Government (Penn, 2022), is a history of women’s internationalist thought between 1900 and 1950. I profile nine women who saw themselves as world citizens and promoted world government in various ways.

I’ve also written several articles on U.S. women’s international activism that have appeared in Diplomatic History, Peace & Change, and History of Education Quarterly.

Over the last few years I’ve shifted my focus away from U.S. women and toward the law. My current book is Selective Justice: The Draft, the Law, and the Vietnam War, a study of legal battles over the draft in the 1960s and 70s. Based on court records and government documents as well as archival sources and personal interviews, the book explores how courtroom debates over conscription ranged far beyond the Vietnam War and touched a range of issues at the heart of American life.


  • Citizens of the World: U.S. Women and Global Government (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022).
  • “Women’s Politics in International Context,” in America in the World, 1900-1945, eds. Brooke L. Blower and Andrew Preston, vol. 3 of The Cambridge History of America in the World, ed. Mark Philip Bradley (Cambridge University Press, 2022), 360–380.
  • “‘The War Power is Not a Blank Check’: The Supreme Court and Conscientious Objection, 1917-1973,” Journal of Policy History 31, no. 3 (July 2019): 303–25.
  • “‘Chaos, War, or a New World Order?’ A Radical Vision of Peace and World Government in the 1930s,” Peace & Change 43, no. 4 (October 2018): 473–97.
  • “Education for Pax Americana: The Limits of Internationalism in Progressive-Era Peace Education,” History of Education Quarterly 57, no. 4 (November 2017): 515–41.
  • “Twenty Years of Worlds of Women: Leila Rupp’s Impact on the History of U.S. Women’s Internationalism,” History Compass 15, no. 6 (June 2017). doi: 10.1111/hic3.12381.
  • “Citizenship, Gender, and Conscience: United States v. Schwimmer,” Journal of Supreme Court History 40, no. 2 (July 2015): 154–71.
  • Pan American Women: U.S. Internationalists and Revolutionary Mexico (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).
  • “How to ‘Make This Pan American Thing Go’? Interwar Debates on U.S. Women’s Activism in the Western Hemisphere,” in Women and Transnational Activism in Historical Perspective, eds. Kim Jensen and Erika Kuhlman (Republic of Letters, 2010), 173–92.
  • “The Pan American Conference of Women, 1922: Successful Suffragists Turn to International Relations,” Diplomatic History 31, no. 5 (November 2007): 801­–28.


Professional Memberships
  • American Historical Association
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Coordinating Council for Women in History
  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
  • American Society for Legal History
Professional Service (includes Denison Service)
  • Dissertation Prize Committee, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2020-2023
  • Council, Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 2020-2023
  • Early Career Faculty Mentor (Denison), 2019-2021
  • Student Research Grants Committee (Denison), 2018-2021
  • Director of the Denison Writing Program, 2016-2019
  • Book Review Editor, Women and Social Movements, 2014-2019


Grants & Funding
  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2022
  • R.C. Good Faculty Fellowship, Denison University, 2022
  • Denison University Research Foundation Grant, 2019
  • R.C. Good Faculty Fellowship, Denison University, 2014
  • Short Term Research Fellowship, New York Public Library, 2014
  • Denison University Research Foundation Grant, 2014
  • Faculty Research Grant, Ohio Academy of History, 2011
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis Faculty Research Grant, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2009
Honors & Awards
  • Michael G. and Barbara W. Rahal Endowed Professorship (2020-2025)
Student Collaborations


  • Noelle Boyages, “African American Women and Title IX: Where is Title VI?” (Senior Research)


  • Sharon Kane, “College Women and Suffrage” (Senior Research)
  • Katie Landoll, “Denison in the Cold War World” (Senior Research)


  • Sharon Kane, “‘The Stabilizing Core of Society’: Domestic Ideology in Suffrage and Anti-Suffrage Plays” (Summer Research)
  • Rachael Barrett, “‘They Don’t Ask Us to Speak’: Agency and Alliances in Progressive-Era Garment Workers’ Strikes, 1909-1912” (Senior Research)
  • Amanda Felizardo, “World War II American Fashion: Patriotism, Femininity, and Agency” (Senior Research)
  • Grace Gilbert, “Sarah Grimké’s Rhetoric: Religion, Abolition, and Marriage” (Senior Research)


  • Rachael Barrett, “The Fight for Married Women’s Employment During the Great Depression” (Summer Research)


  • Allie Colina, “Flappers: A Social History of Young Women in the 1920s” (Senior Research)
  • Michaela Grenier, “Gender Equality for Whom? Analyzing Race in Women’s Rights Activism in Norway” (Senior Research)


  • Hannah Fogt, “Analysis of Changes in Marital Rape Attitudes from the 1970s to 1990s” (Senior Research)


  • Hannah Miller, “Framing the First Ladies: An Analysis of Media, Power, and Womanhood” (Senior Research)


  • Aaron Babcock, “‘In Their Image’: Manifest Destiny and the American Mission in the Marshall Plan” (Summer Research)
  • Natalie Gross, “Genocide Unchecked: Passive U.S. Responses to the Mass Killings in Bosnia and Rwanda” (Senior Research)
  • Patrick Hewitt, “From Mixed-Use to Single-Use and Back: The Evolution of Columbus City Plans” (Senior Research)
  • Krista Slavicek, “The Temperance Movement: An Attack on Working-Class Culture and Institutions” (Senior Research)


  • Jane-Coleman Harbison, “Rhetoric and Spectacle: The Intersection Between Culture and Imperialism at the 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition” (Summer Research)
  • Kelli Housley, “Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Conservation” (Senior Research)


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