Sara E. Lampert

My September 2021 article in New England Quarterly reconsiders sex work and moral reform in early US theaters. Read more! 

Welcome! I am an associate professor of history at the University of South Dakota and coordinator of the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies program. I specialize in the history of early America, women and gender, and popular culture. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2012 and my B.A. from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 2004. 

My book, Starring Women: Celebrity, Patriarchy, and American Theater, 1790-1850 (available now from University of Illinois Press) examines the lives, careers, and fame of overlooked figures from Europe and the United States whose work in melodrama, ballet, and other stage shows shocked and excited early U.S. audiences. Listen to a conversation about the book with Andy Boyd of New Books Network.

I have published work on the women entertainers in the lyceum, the career of African American opera singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, and on various facets of early U.S. theater and popular culture, from St. Louis to New York.

New! What does the Charlestown Convent Riot have to do with an 1830s breeches drama? Check out my new piece at

she/her | | 414 E. Clark St. Vermillion, SD 57069

Above: "Box At the Theater" from Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans (London: Whittaker, Treacher, 1832).