Personal Background

Professor Montgomery began her undergraduate career in her home state of Nevada at the University of Nevada, Reno. A first generation college student, she took a semester study abroad in Osaka, Japan at Kansai Gakuin University in her junior year. When she returned home to the U.S., she switched from her pre-med, psychology track to history and Japanese Studies, and in her senior year, began Mandarin Chinese language classes. After graduation, she studied Mandarin Chinese intensively at the Middlebury Language School, the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) at National Taiwan University in Taipei, and Qingdao Ocean University in China. In 2012, she began graduate study at the University of California, Santa Cruz and in June 2018, completed her Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History with her dissertation entitled, “Gender, Criminality, and the Prison in China, 1928-1953.”


Dr. Montgomery joined St. Olaf College as Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies in Fall 2018. Her research interests include the history of gender, sexuality, and the body; women’s history; the history of criminality and penology; and the history of science, medicine, technology, and drugs. In March 2020, Dr. Montgomery was awarded the Henry Luce/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Early Career Fellowship in China Studies, which will support writing on her proposed monograph, Problem Women: Gender, Criminality, and the Prison in Republican China, 1928-1949. 

Public History

In 2017, Dr. Montgomery also launched a public history podcast with her colleague Dr. Melissa Brzycki — Assistant Professor of History at Monmouth University — called East Asia for All. EAFA looks at how to approach East Asian popular culture as non-Asian fans, and strives to bring critical attention to issues such as cultural appropriation and the white-washing of Asian characters. In 2018, Drs. Montgomery and Brzycki began a secondary project called EAFA in the Classroom: Podcasting, Pedagogy, and Pop Culture. EAFA in the Classroom is a series of complete lesson plans for educators that can be adapted for both high school and college students featuring specific podcast episodes and building upon the many different historical, social, and cultural issues each episode introduces.


At St. Olaf, Dr. Montgomery has taught a range of classes on the history of modern East Asia and public history, including:

  • ASIAN 121: Asian Cultures

  • ASIAN 398: Feminism in Modern China Independent Research

  • ASIAN 398, Independent Research: 20th-Century Dissidents in the PRC & USSR

  • ASCON 215: Asian Conversations II (abroad)

  • HIST 240: Crime and Punishment in East Asia Major Seminar

  • HIST 250: China, Past and Present

  • HIST 251: Revolutionary China

  • HIST 345: Engendering East Asia Seminar

Current classes for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • ASIAN 399: Seminar: Asia

  • HIST 250: China, Past and Present

  • HIST 251: Revolutionary China

  • HIST 253: Modern Japan

  • HIST 296: History Internship Reflection

  • HIST 393: Digital History