Katie Hemphill is an Assistant Professor of History whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and capitalism in nineteenth-century America. She is currently revising her book manuscript, Bawdy City: Commercial Sex, Capitalism, and Policing in Baltimore, 1790-1915, which is based on a dissertation she defended at Johns Hopkins University in 2014. The book traces the development and policing of Baltimore’s sex trade during a century characterized by rapid urban growth and capitalist development. Katie is particularly interested in how the rise of capitalism changed sex workers’ labor and economic strategies, as well as in how commercial sex became a site through which Americans articulated anxieties about the economic change, race, and the difficulty of separating the intimate from the commercial in the context of the market economy.
Katie has published essays on topics related to gender, sexuality, and policing in the Journal of the Early Republic and in the edited volume Capitalism by Gaslight: Illuminating the Economy of Nineteenth-Century America. She is currently working on an article that uses Maryland Penitentiary inmates’ tattoos to analyze masculinity and identity construction among laboring and poor Americans in the early republic.
Katie has been invited to present her research at the Johns Hopkins University history department’s seminar and the JHU Women and Gender Studies program seminar. She has also given papers at the annual meetings of the Society for Civil War Historians, the Organization of American Historians, C19: The Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and the Front Range Early Americanist Consortium, the latter of which she also helped to organize as a member of the local arrangements committee. Most recently, she acted as chair and comment for a panel entitled, “Queer Adventures: National Identity and Belonging in 19th c. American Literature” at the 2016 American Studies Association meeting.
One of Katie’s great joys at the University of Arizona has been interacting with students, both in and out of the classroom. She offers a number of interdisciplinary undergraduate courses that are cross-listed with Africana Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Public Administration, including classes on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the history of crime, and the history of masculinity. She also mentors students in her capacity as the faculty advisor for the Zeta Omega chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.
In addition to serving on the Faculty Advisory Committee, Katie serves on the History department’s Curriculum Committee and manages the department’s social media accounts. When she completes revisions on her book manuscript, she plans to begin a second project focused on the life of a nineteenth-century thief who transgressed gender boundaries as they travelled around the country stealing horses.