Faculty Experts

Margaret Susan Thompson

Associate Professor, History and Political Science

Margaret S. Thompson is an associate professor of history and political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Professor Thompson also serves as a senior research associate for the Campbell Public Affairs Institute within the Maxwell School. Her research interests include U.S. politics and governance, women and politics, religion and politics, and women and religion in U.S. history.

Thompson was trained as a political historian, with a focus on the  nineteenth-century United States and, particularly, the Congress. Her first book, The “Spider Web”: Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant (Cornell University Press), reflects both her scholarly and hands-on experience, the latter as American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.

Recently, Professor Thompson’s work has focused on the history of American Catholic nuns. She has written and lectured extensively on the subject, and has an 18-lecture audio series available through NowYouKnowMedia.com. Her research is from an explicitly feminist perspective, emphasizing the agency and social significance of sisters to American religious and secular history. As a result of this research, she has had the privilege of speaking internationally as well as across the U.S., and has served as a consultant to numerous documentarians and religious communities. Her forthcoming book, The Yoke of Grace: American Nuns and Social Change, 1809-1917, is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Thompson received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.