Elizabeth Belanger

Elizabeth BelangerAssociate Professor of American Studies

Joined faculty in 2013

Ph.D., Brown University 2007
MA, Brown University 2002
BA, Kenyon College 1997

Contact Information

Trinity HallPhone (315) 781-4594

Scholarly Interest

Elizabeth Belanger is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva New York.  Her archival work is situated at the intersection of women’s history, urban studies and historical geography.  Part digital history, part traditional scholarship, her work uses geospatial technologies to map and visualize the presence of women in the urban landscape.  Her work on the scholarship of teaching and learning has been published in the Journal of American History, The History Teacher, and Arts and Humanities in Higher Education.  Her current SoTL research explores critical spatial thinking in the interdisciplinary classroom focusing on the use of GIS and other spatial technologies.  Finally, Belanger’s commitment to engaged scholarship had led her to explore teaching “in” and “about” space and place in the 21st century.   She is currently the director for the People’s History of Geneva, a community history project.  The mission of this project is to collect, document, and share the experiences of Genevans through their stories and conversations. Specifically, it seeks to bring the voices of traditionally underrepresented community members to the forefront.  The project is a collaboration between the Geneva Historical Society, the Geneva City Schools, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  

Courses Taught

  • AMST 101: Myths and Paradoxes
  •  AMST 201: Methods in American Studies
  • AMST 210: Critical Family History
  • AMST 330: Digital Humanities
  • AMST 356: Art, Memory and the Power of Place
  •  AMST 465: Seminar in American Studies


“Radical Futures: Teaching Public History as Social Justice” in Radical Roots: Civic Engagement, Public History, and a Tradition of Social Justice Activism Editor Denise D. Meringolo, (Amherst M.A.: Amherst College Press, 2019).

“Perfect Nuisance: Working Class Women and Neighborhood Development in Civil War St. Louis”  Journal of the Civil War Era  Volume 1 No.1 March 2018.

“Using U.S. Tuning to Effect: The American Historical Association’s Tuning Project and the First Year Research Paper”  Arts and Humanities in Higher Education  Special Issue on Tuning History Volume 16 No.4 October 2017.

Bridging the Understanding Gap: An Approach to Teaching First year Students How to ‘Do’ History The History Teacher Volume 49 Number 1 November 2015.

“Public History and Liberal Learning: Making the Case for the Undergraduate Practicum Experience”   The Public Historian Volume 34 Number 4 November 2012 Winner of the G. Wesley Johnson Award for the best article published in the Public Historian in 2012.

How Now? Historical Thinking, Reflective Teaching and the Next Generation of History Teachers Journal of American History Volume 97 Number 4 March 2011.

“The Neighborhood Ideal: Local Planning Practices in Progressive-era Women’s Clubs Journal of Planning History Volume 8 Number 2 May 2009.


Director “People’s History of Geneva” Public History Project: The People’s History of Geneva collects, documents, and shares the experiences of Genevans through their stories and conversations. Specifically, it seeks to bring the voices of traditionally underrepresented community members to the forefront. A People’s History of Geneva will focus on the past 60 years of the city’s history as heard through the voices and stories of community members who have been typically marginalized and/or unheard.

  • Grant Recipient “The People’s History of Geneva K-12 Curriculum Project” American Studies Association Community Partnership Grant Summer 2017. 
  • Grant Recipient “Human Rights Curriculum Development Teacher/Community Workshop” Wyckoff Family Foundation, Geneva NY Summer 2016. 

  Instructor “Diversity in Geneva” and “Bully Box” Spring 2016: Oversaw teens from the Geneva Boys and Girls Club and students enrolled in AMST 330 in developing two public art/public history projects displayed at the May 2016 Geneva Month Out celebration in Downtown Geneva.