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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Joshua Paddison

Picture of Joshua Paddison

Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of American Studies
Department of Religious Studies

American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow

Office: Sycamore 203
Phone: (812) 855-3531
E-mail: jpaddiso at


Ph.D., History, UCLA, 2008
M.A., History, San Francisco State University, 2001
B.A., Journalism, University of Oregon, 1996

Personal Statement

My research focuses on comparative race and ethnicity, religion, and culture in the nineteenth-century United States, especially in the American West. My book "American Heathens: Religion, Race, and Reconstruction in California", will be published by the University of California Press / Huntington Library's Western Histories series. The book examines contestations over the place of Native Americans and Chinese Americans from the Civil War to the 1890s, demonstrating the centrality of religion in racial formation and the importance of California in the story of Reconstruction. I am currently at work on a new book project, "Unholy Sensations: Sex, Religion, and Scandal in the Gilded Age", which explores public fascination and anxiety surrounding "depraved" sexuality in late-nineteenth-century San Francisco.

Publication Highlights

American Heathens: Religion, Race, and Reconstruction in California, under contract with University of California Press / Huntington Library, Western Histories series.

"'Woman Is Everywhere the Purifer': The Politics of Temperance, 1878-1900," in California Women and Politics: From the Gold Rush to the Great Depression (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011), 59-76.

"Anti-Catholicism and Race in Post-Civil-War San Francisco," Pacific Historical Review 78 (Fall 2009): 505-44.

Editor, A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California before the Gold Rush (Berkeley: Heyday Books, 1999).

Honors and Awards

  • 2010-2012 New Faculty Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies
  • 2010-2012 Young Scholars in American Religion Fellow, Indiana Univerisity-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • 2010 Arrington-Prucha Award for best article on the history of religion in the American West, Western History Association.
  • 2008 Religion and American Culture Caucus Award for Best Paper, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Albuquerque
  • 2007-2008 Collegium of University Teaching Fellow, UCLA
  • 2007 Western History Dissertation Fellowship, John and LaRee Caughey Foundation, New York
  • 2007 Research Grant for Interethnic Studies, Institute of American Cultures, UCLA
  • 2007 Research Fellowship, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia
  • 2006-2007 Keck Foundation Fellowship for Young Scholars, Huntington Library