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. After returning home, she promptly switched from her pre-med, psychology track to history and Japanese studies, also beginning 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 PhD 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 2017, Dr. Montgomery launched a public history podcast with her colleague Dr. Melissa Brzycki — currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota — 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.