Sarah  Steinbock-Pratt

Sarah Steinbock-Pratt

Associate Professor


  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2013

Research Areas

  • Gender and Women’s History
  • History of Race
  • United States History


Research Interests

  • U.S. in the World
  • U.S. Immigration and Labor History
  • Modern United States History
  • American Empire and Global Expansion
  • Race and Gender in U.S. History
  • Transnational History and the Pacific World

Current Projects

“A Far-Flung Nation: Filipinos and the Construction of Gender, Race and National Identity in the Pacific World,” investigates how gender and race intersected with the politics of nationalism, and the ways in which Filipinos across the Pacific World articulated new understandings of national identity and belonging. Rather than focusing on one specific community or location, I use a transnational perspective to examine how both elite and working-class Filipinos were members of, and shaped, communities in transit. Migration throughout the Pacific informed narratives of nationalism and individual pursuits of opportunity. As Filipinos traveled back and forth across the Pacific, they enacted and defined what it meant to be Filipino in the early twentieth century, both at home and as a part of the diaspora. 

“‘No Sitting on the Fence’: Race, National Identity, and the Transpacific Migrations of Elizabeth Calloway,” traces the migration of Black Americans across the Pacific to fight in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War, the formation of a black community in Manila, and how Elizabeth Calloway, the daughter of a Black veteran, traveled back to the United States in the late 1920s. Writing about her trip across the Pacific and through the US, Calloway self-consciously negotiated and constructed her racial and national identities, articulating new understandings of what it meant to be a Filipina as well as a black American woman in the context of the Harlem Renaissance, the Jim Crow South, the Great Depression, and the transition of the Philippines to Commonwealth status.

Courses Taught

  • The Vietnam War
  • Empire, Migration, and Labor
  • The U.S. as a World Power
  • The Rise of the U.S. as a World Power
  • Honors American Civilization
  • Modern American Civilization

Conference Presentations

  • Presenter and panel organizer, “‘No Sitting on the Fence’: Race, National Identity, and the Transpacific Migrations of Elizabeth Calloway,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Charleston, South Carolina, October 2-6, 2019.
  • Presenter and panel organizer, “‘An Augury of Good Intentions’: Black Teachers and Colonial Education in the Philippines,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, January 5-8, 2017.
  • Presenter, “The Strenuous Life of Mary Helen Fee: The Construction of National Identity, Gender, and Race in Empire,” American Historical Association Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 7-10, 2016.
  • Presenter, “We Were Thought to Be a Backwards People: American Education and the Rise of Transnational Filipino Student Activism,” Association for Asian American Studies Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, April 18-20, 2013.
  • Presenter and Panel Organizer, “An Army of Pedagogues: American Teachers and the Negotiation of Empire in the Philippines,” Organization of American Historians  Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, March 17-21, 2011.
  • Presenter, “A Great Army of Instruction: Gender and Race in American Colonial Education,” Education and Empire, Sixth Galway Colonialism Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, June 24-26, 2010.

Selected Publications

  • Educating the Empire: American Teachers and Contested Colonization in the Philippines (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
  • “‘A Good School is Like a Prison’: Industrial Education in Schools and Prisons in the Colonial Philippines,” in The Gospel of Work and Money: A Global History of Industrial Education, eds. Oliver Charbonneau and Karine Walther (Fordarm University Press, under review).
  • “New Frontiers Beyond the Seas: the Culture of American Empire and Expansion at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” in A Companion to U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to Present, ed. Christopher Dietrich (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020). 
  • “‘It Gave Us Our Nationality’: American Education, the Politics of Dress and Transnational Filipino, Student Networks, 1901-45” in “Gender, Imperialism and Global Exchanges,” eds. Stephan F. Miescher, Michele Mitchell and Naoko Shibusawa, special issue, Gender & History 26, No. 3 (2014): 565-588.
  • “‘We Were All Robinson Crusoes’: American Women Teachers in the Philippines,” Women’s Studies, Vol. 41, No. 4 (2012): 372-392.