Lisa G. Materson

Lisa Materson Portrait

Position Title
Associate Professor

SSH 3223
Office Hours
On leave through June 2023


  • Ph.D., History, UCLA
  • M.A., History, UCLA
  • B.A., Plan II and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin


Lisa G. Materson is a historian of US women’s and gender history. Her work is focused on women’s participation in social and political justice movements in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932 (UNC Press, 2009) analyzes African American women's involvement in southern, midwestern, and national politics in order to undermine institutionalized racism. She is currently completing Radical Solidarity: Ruth Reynolds, Political Allyship, and the Battle for Puerto Rico’s Independence. With her colleague Professor Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Professor Materson is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender History (2018) and has published public history projects, including the Empire Suffrage Syllabus and Women's History in the Pacific West. Prior to arriving at UC Davis, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and a lecturer in the history department at Yale University. 

Research Focus

U.S. women’s history, U.S. political history, history of U.S. colonialism, African American history


  • Materson, L. G. (In preparation) Radical Solidarity: Ruth Reynolds, Political Allyship, and the Battle for Puerto Rico’s Independence.
  • Materson, L. G. (2021) “Women’s Voting and US Empire,” in “Roundtable on Empire and Suffrage Syllabus,” Women and Social Movements in the United States 25, no. 1.
  • Materson, L. G. (2019) "Ruth Reynolds, Solidarity Activism, and the Struggle against U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico," Modern American History 2, no. 2: 183-87.
  • Materson, L. G., Hartigan-O’Connor, E. (Eds.) (2018) The Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender History. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Materson, L. G., Trotter, Joe William, Jr. (2018) “African American Urban Electoral Politics in the Age of Jim Crow," Journal of Urban History 44, no. 2: 123-33.
  • Materson, L. G. (2017) "Gender, Generation, and Women's Independence Organizing in Puerto Rico," Radical History Review, 128: 121-146.
  • Materson, L. G. (2009) For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Materson, L. G. (2009) "African American Women's Global Journeys and the Construction of Cross-ethnic Racial Identity,” Women’s Studies International Forum 32, no. 1: 35-42.
  • Materson, L. G. (2009) “African American Women, Prohibition, and the 1928 Presidential Election,” Journal of Women's History 21, no. 1: 63-86.
  • Materson, L. G. (2006) "Electoral politics," in Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration, Ed. Steven Reich (Westport, Ct: Greenwood): 275-79.


Undergraduate lecture courses on women’s, gender, and sexuality histories; Undergraduate seminars on feminism and race in the United States; Graduate seminars on the histories of gender, colonialism, and nationalism


  • Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2016-2023
  • University of California President’s Faculty Research Fellowship in the Humanities, 2004-2005, 2017-2018.
  • Faculty Research Fellow, UC Davis Humanities Institute, 2017
  • Center for Puerto Rican Studies Historical Preservation and Research Program Grant, 2011
  • Co-Director, SSRC, Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship Program, 2010
  • Charles Warren Fellow, Harvard University, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, 2008