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.


Dr. Montgomery's 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, she was awarded the Henry Luce/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Early Career Fellowship in China Studies, which will support writing on her book manuscript, Problem Women: Gender, Criminality, and the Prison in Republican China, 1928-1949. 

Public History

In 2017, Dr. Montgomery launched a public history podcast with her colleague Dr. Melissa Brzycki — Assistant Professor of History at Monmouth University — called East Asia for All. EAFA historicizes East Asian popular culture, exploring topics such as how to approach East Asian topics as non-Asian fans; issues of cultural appropriation; the white-washing of Asian characters; and unpacking historical relationships between East Asian countries and the U.S., among others. 


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

  • ASIAN 121: Asian Cultures

  • ASIAN 398: Feminism in Modern China Independent Research

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

  • ASIAN 399: Asian Studies Senior Seminar

  • 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 253: Modern Japan

  • HIST 294: Academic Internship

  • HIST 296: History Internship Reflection Seminar

  • HIST 345: Engendering East Asia Seminar

  • HIST 393: Digital History