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Kimberly Schmidt

DEPARTMENT: WCSC - Washington Community Scholars' Center

POSITION: Department Chair and Professor

DEPARTMENT: History Dept

POSITION: Professor

PHONE: (202) 529-5378

EMAIL: kimberly.schmidt@emu.edu

Kimberly D. Schmidt is professor of history and director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Binghamton University in 1995. Publications include Magpie’s Blanket, a Women Writing the West WILLA Literary Awards Finalist, historical fiction category and Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History, from the Johns Hopkins University Press. Kimberly divides her research interests between Amish and Mennonite women’s social history and women’s histories of the Southern Cheyenne. She teaches local multicultural history in Washington, DC and is particularly interested in accessing the histories of social movements and poor people’s experiences through various visual and performing arts media. She has lived in the Washington area since 1989 and has two children.


BA, Bethel College
MA, Binghamton University
PHD, Binghamton University



Magpie’s Blanket: A novel. University of New Mexico Press, 2016. Women Writing the West WILLA Literary Award Finalist, historical fiction category, 2017.

Editor, with Diane Zimmerman Umble and Steven D. Reschley, Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.


*_Run Dirk, Run: Wrestling with the Willems Story_ in 606: Politics, culture, family and more. From a (mostly) Mennonite perspective. https://sixoh6.com/2018/03/26/run-dirk-run-wrestling-with-the-willems-story/ (March 2018)


“Step-Mothering on the Mennonite Mission Field: The Letters of Olga Petter Schroeder and Bertha Kinsinger Petter.” vol. 68, 2014. Mennonite Life. online.

Book Review of Mothering Mennonite. Rachel Epp Buller and Kerry Fast, eds. (Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press, 2013). vol. 68, 2014. Mennonite Life. online.

“Moneneheo and Naheverien: Cheyenne and Mennonite Sewing Circles, Convergences and Conflicts, 1890-1970.” 31:1 Great Plains Quarterly. (Winter 2011): 3-22.

Book Review of Mennonite Women in Canada: A History. By Marlene Epp. Mennonite Quartely Review. LXXXIV:1 (January 2010).

“The Selected Ones: Uncovering the Peaceful Women’s History of the Southern Cheyenne.” Mennonite Life 61:3 (Sept. 2006).

Book Review of Plain Women: Gender and Ritual in the Old Order River Brethren. By Margaret Reynolds. (December 2003) Journal of American History, pp. 1141-2.

Book Review of Hidden Worlds: Revisiting the Mennonite Migrants of the 1870s. By Royden Loewen. (Winter 2003). Great Plains Quarterly. pp. 56-7.

“You’ve Come A Long Way Baby or Was the Anger Worth It: Women in Leadership in the Mennonite Church.” (Summer 2003) MCC Women’s Concerns Report.

“Schism: Where Outside Women’s Work and Insider Dress Collided in an Amish Mennonite Church, “in Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

“Sacred Farming” versus “Working Out”: The Negotiated Lives of Conservative Mennonite Farm Women” in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, 2002.

With Steven D. Reschly, “A Women’s History for Anabaptist Traditions: A Framework of Possibilities, Possibly Changing the Framework.” vol. 18 Journal of Mennonite Studies, 2002, pp. 29-46.

“The Diverse Histories of Mennonite Women” Mennonite Yearbook (Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1995).

With Marc A. Olshan, “Amish Women and the Feminist Conundrum” in War Against Progress: The Amish Struggle with Modernity, Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan, eds. (University Press of New England, 1994).

“The North Newton Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: Educating for Peace,” Mennonite Life, vol. 40, December, 1985.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

  • Cheyenne Women’s History and the 1868 Washita Massacre
  • Washita National Battlefield, Cheyenne, OK, March 2018.
  • First Mennonite Church, Bluffton, OH, February 2018.
  • Second Saturday Lecture Series, University Park, MD, January 2018.
  • Kauffman Museum, N. Newton, KS, October 2016.
  • Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville, MD, March 2016.
  • The Circle and the Cross: Oral History and the Peace Theologies of the Southern Cheyenne. Mennonite/s Writing VII: Movement, Transformation, Place. Fresno Pacific University, March 2015.
  • Arguing into the Wind: Mennonite Missionary Bertha Kinsinger Petter’s Lifelong Advocacy for Cheyenne Women, 1896-1967. Histories on the Edge, The 16th Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians. University of Toronto, Canada. May 2014.
  • Step-Mothering on the Mennonite Mission Field: The Letters of Olga Petter Schroeder and Bertha Kinsinger Petter. at Mothering Mennonite, Bethel College, October 2013.
  • Invited paper, Fabricating Culture: Changes in Twentieth Century Amish Women’s Work and Identity. The Textile Museum, Washington, DC. January 2009.
  • Invited paper, A Women’s History of the Cheyenne Mennonite Mission. Cheyenne, Arapaho, Mennonite: Journey from Darlington. Clinton, Okla. April, 2006.
  • Invited paper, Center Women: A Theory of Mennonite Women’s Leadership. Philadelphia Stories: Kingdom Building in the City, Philadelphia, PA. April 2003
  • With Steven D. Reschly, The Production and Consumption of Discourse Systems: Amish Women’s History in Dialogue with American Women’s Historians. Crossroads Conference, Finland, June 28, 1998.
  • The Church’s One Foundation’: History, Identity and Faith Formation Among Mennonite Historians. Invited paper presented at Mennonites and Jews: Religious Minorities and the Search for Identity in America. April 1997, University of Maryland at College Park.
  • Invited comment. Community, Identity, and State Building: Mennonite and Amish Examples, Social Science History Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, October 12, 1996.
  • Keynote address with Steven D. Reschly, A Women’s History for Anabaptist Traditions: A Framework of Possibilities, Possibly Changing the Framework at The Quiet in the Land? Women of Anabaptist Traditions in Historical Perspective.” Millersville University, Millersville, PA, June 8-11, 1995.
  • The Cape Dress Controversy: Amish Mennonite Women during the Depression presented at Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, March 30-April 2, 1995.
  • “Led by the Lord”: Reconstructing Mennonite Women’s Work Experiences During the Farm Crisis. The Fifth Conference on Rural/Farm Women in Historical Perspective, Washington, DC, December 1-4, 1994.
  • Keynote address, Gender Theory and Mennonite Congregational History . The Experience of Mennonite Women, Harleysville, PA, October 20-22, 1994.
  • Invited response to New Directions for Anabaptist Feminism Women Doing Theology, Bluffton College, Bluffton, OH, June 23-25, 1994.
  • Substantial Subsistence: Religious Ideology and Economic Circumstance in the Work Lives of Amish Mennonite Women presented at Works in Progress, Washington/Chesapeake Area Women’s Historians, American University, Washington, DC, March 12, 1994.
  • Feminist Theory and Amish Women’s History presented at Amish Society, 1693-1993, Celebrating Three Hundred Years of Persistence and Change, The Young Center for the Study of Anabaptist and Pietist Groups, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, July 22-25, 1993.
  • Challenging Separate Spheres Ideology: A Mennonite Case Study presented at Re-weaving Women’s Colors: Scholarship, Curriculum, and our Lives, National Women’s Studies Conference, Washington, DC, June 16-20, 1993.
  • Transforming Tradition: Some Changes in Mennonite Women’s Work, 1930-1990 . Presented at Celebrating Feminist Research Across the Disciplines, Women’s Studies Program Annual Research Forum, University of Maryland at College Park, February 5, 1993.