• Role:

  • Position:

    • Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Early North America
    • women & gender
    • history of sexuality
    • religious history
  • Department:

    • History
  • Education:

    • A.B. Bryn Mawr College
    • M.A. and Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
  • Curriculum Vitae:



Specializing in the history of women, gender, and sexuality along with Professor Sarah Payne, Ann M. Little is an early North American historian and the author of Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 2007), and The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright (Yale University Press, 2016).  Wheelwright was an English girl taken captive by the Wabanaki in 1703 who became an Ursuline choir nun in Québec and the order's only foreign-born Mother Superior.

The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright was named the winner of the 2018 Albert B. Corey Prize/Prix Corey awarded jointly by the American and Canadian Historical Associations. In 2019, she was a guest co-editor for an issue of Early American Studies (17:4) in honor of Mary Maples Dunn, "Women and Religion in the Early Americas."

Chapters from Abraham in Arms and from The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright were excerpted in Women's America: Refocusing the Past edited by Linda K. Kerber Cornelia Hughes Dayton and Jane Sherron DeHart (7th-9th ed. Oxford University Press 2010, 2016, & 2019) and in Major Problems in American Women's History(5th edition Cengage Learning edited by Sharon Block Ruth M. Alexander and Mary Beth Norton 2013).  In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Little kept a blog about history feminism and the academic life at Historiann from 2007-2018.

She is at work on a new book, Natural Women: Nature, Maternity, and Liberty after the Revolution.

Media appearances

Professor Little has appeared on the TLC and NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are" three times, first in 2015 with Tom Bergeron to help him understand more about his French Canadian roots, and more recently in 2018 with Jean Smart to talk about her ancestor who was accused of witchcraft.  The third appearance, recorded in winter 2020, has not aired yet on NBC. She was featured in the Fort Collins Coloradoan in the summer of 2018 in an article on "the TLC Show's Favorite CSU Professor."  You can also see Professor Little on C-SPAN 3: American History TV delivering a lecture in her American Women's History class on October 22 2012 on the subject of Stays and Colonial-era Clothing.

She has also been featured on Liz Covart's and the Omohundro Institute's podcast, Ben Franklin's World twice:  First, in Episode 108 to discuss The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright, and then more recently in August of 2018 to discuss early American health and hygiene practices in Episode 200 on Everyday Life in Early America.



Guest-edited journals:

  • Early American Studies 17:4 (Fall 2019): Women and Religion in the Early Americas, co-edited with Nicole Eustace

Selected recent Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

  • forthcoming 2022, "Native American Captivity and Slavery in North America, 1492-1848," in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, ed. Jon Butler.
  • 2020, "Open, Vast, and Inclusive: Catholic Women's History is Early North American History," American Catholic Studies 131:1, 1-18.
  • 2020, "Esther Wheelwright," American National Biography.
  • 2019, "Ineradicably Untidy:  Women and Religion in the Age of Atlantic Empires," Early American Studies 17:4 (Fall 2019), co-authored with Nicole Eustace.
  • 2019, “Esther Wheelwright becomes an Ursuline Nun,” abridged excerpt from the Introduction to The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright  in Women’s America:  Refocusing the Past, eds. Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron DeHart, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, & Karissa Haugeberg (9th ed., 2019) 79-83.
  • 2019, "Esther Wheelwright," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • 2018, “The Shared Language of Gender in Colonial North American Warfare,” in The Routledge History of Gender, War, and the U.S. Military, edited by Kara Dixon Vuic (Taylor & Francis), 11-23.
  • 2016, “Knox’s Historical Journal” and “Cloistered Bodies:  Convents in the Anglo-American Imagination in the British Conquest of Canada,” reprinted in chapter 4, Rethinking Canada:  The Promise of Women’s History (7th ed., Oxford University Press Canada, edited by Lara Campbell, Tamara Myers and Adele Perry), 61-75.
  • 2015, “‘Keep me with you, so that I might not be damned:’  Age and Captivity in Colonial Borderlands Warfare, in Age in America:  The Colonial Era to the Present, eds. Corinne Field and Nicholas L. Syrett (New York University Press), 23-46.
  • 2013, “Indian Captivity and Family Life in Colonial New England,” an abridged excerpt of chapter 3 from Abraham in Arms, in Major Problems in American Women’s History (5th edition, Cengage Learning, edited by Sharon Block, Ruth M. Alexander, and Mary Beth Norton, 2013), 49-57.
  • 2010 and 2016, “Captivity and Conversion: Daughters of New England in French Canada” an abridged excerpt of chapter 4 from Abraham in Arms, in Women’s America:  Refocusing the Past,edited by Linda K. Kerber, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, and Jane Sherron DeHart (7th edition, Oxford University Press, 2010; 8th edition, 2016), 66-79.
  • 2010, “We’re All Cowgirls Now,” Journal of Women’s History 22:4, 220-234.


  • Sabbatical leave, 2021-22