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Dr. Kelly Watson,
Assistant Professor of History
Member of Avila since 2012

In 2010, Dr. Watson earned her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in American Culture Studies with a primary focus in early American history and a secondary specialization in Latin American history. She also earned graduate certificates in both Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies. She possesses an MA from Bowling Green State University in American Culture Studies and a BA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a double major in Ancient Studies and American Studies.

Dr. Watson is currently completing her first book, (tentatively titled) Conquering Cannibals: Gender and Empire in North America, 1492-1763, which will be published by New York University Press in 2014. Her research focuses on the development and maintenance of European imperial power in North America. She examines the ways in which the discourse of cannibalism shaped European views on Indigenous Americans and thus impacted the progress of empire. More generally, Dr. Watson’s research interests include: early American history, imperialism and colonialism, Atlantic studies, the history of sexuality, women’s history, and the history of race and ethnicity.

Prior to her position at Avila, Dr. Watson was a Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Gender & Women’s Studies at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. At Avila, Dr. Watson teaches a range of courses focused on American history, Latin American history, cultural studies, as well as Gender and Women’s Studies.


11901 Wornall Road    :    Kansas City, MO 64145    :    816.501.2400    :    800.GO.AVILA (462-8452)     :    Admission@Avila.edu