Travel Fellow (2011)
Monica Ledesma, dissertator in history, earned a bachelor's degree in history at Northern Illinois University. While in the doctoral program in history her research has focused on modern Britain and Ireland. In particular, her master's thesis studied the Legion of Mary both as an organization and as a lens through which to examine Irish Catholic religiosity and social work in the twentieth century. Her dissertation will focus on the phenomenon of the modern Irish Catholic missionary movement as a means of exploring social, religious, and political culture at a time when the nation was asserting its cultural and political independence. Her dissertation will also explore the complex motives that compelled missionaries to attempt to transmit conservative Western morals and Western science and technology to communities in Africa and Asia. Her studies have been supported by the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship and the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship. This summer she will use the Scott Kloeck-Jenson grant to conduct initial research at the archives of various missionary organizations in Ireland.