Michelle Jolly

Title: Professor

Concentration: Western U.S., California, and Women’s History

Education: Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Office: Stevenson 2070E

Phone: (707) 664-2461

Email: michelle.jolly@sonoma.edu


Michelle Jolly holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of California at San Diego. She teaches courses in American social and political history from the 16th through the 19th century, the history of California and the West, and the history of women in the United States. Her research and publications include work on gender and politics in gold-rush San Francisco, including an article that won the 2005 Catherine Covert Award in Mass Communication History, awarded by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. More recently, she has directed the Sonoma County Women's Oral History Project on the women's movement in Sonoma County from 1970 to 1990, supported by a California Stories Initiative grant from the California Council for the Humanities. In addition, she has served as an academic coordinator for several Teaching American History projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, in which she collaborates with K-12 teachers and university faculty in workshops on U.S. history teaching (content and pedagogy) in K-12 classrooms. She is currently Chair of the Sonoma State University History Department.


  • HIST 251: History of the United States to 1877
  • HIST 445: Topics in American Women's History
  • HIST 446:Women in American History
  • HIST 450: Colonial America
  • HIST 451: The American Revolution and the Early Republic
  • HIST 452: Antebellum America
  • HIST 454: Civil War and Reconstruction
  • HIST 471: The American West
  • HIST 472: California History I
  • HIST 498: Senior Seminar
  • HIST 597: Graduate Seminar

Selected Scholarship:

“The Price of Vigilance:Gender, Politics, and the Press in Early San Francisco.” Pacific Historical Review, November 2004. Winner 2005 Catherine Covert Award in Mass Communication History, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Sex, Vigilantism, and San Francisco in 1856,” Common-Place, 3:4 (July 2003), www.common-place.org