March 2016 Scholars Gild Discussion

First Ladies: From Ceremony to Substance

Tuesday, March 15
Lower Arden Gild Hall
7:30 PM

Prof. Katherine (Katie) Sibley, Saint Joseph's University

Prof. Katherine Sibley

Please join the Scholars Gild at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, March 15, when we will discuss the role of the First Ladies of the United States of America. Professor Katherine Sibley talk will explore first ladies of the twentieth and twenty-first century, highlighting their stories through the life of an underrated first lady, Florence Kling Harding, whose term in office (1921-1923) underlines many of the important transitions in the office that have occurred over the last 100 years and which are exemplified by the current first lady, Michelle Obama. These have included growing activism, significant political influence and counsel to the president, and cultivation of popular and celebrity culture to communicate their message and desired image to the American people.

Katherine A. S. Sibley is professor and director of American Studies at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she has taught history since receiving her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1991. Her newest book, A Companion to First Ladies (Wiley-Blackwell), should appear this May. She appeared on C-SPAN’s First Ladies series to discuss Florence Harding in 2013. Her most recent publication was A Companion to Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover (Wiley-Blackwell 2014), and last year she also contributed a chapter on World War II and the postwar era to the Globalyceum curriculum website ( She has published four monographs: First Lady Florence Kling Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy (2009), Red Spies in America: Stolen Secrets and the Dawn of the Cold War (2004); The Cold War (1998) and Loans and Legitimacy: The Evolution of Soviet-American Relations, 1919-1933 (1996). She edits a book series, the U.S. in International Perspective, with Paradigm Publishers, and serves on the editorial board of American Communist History, as well as on the Historical Advisory Committee to the Office of the Historian at the U.S. State Department.
The Scholars Gild discussions are held at 7:30 PM on the third Tuesday of the month (except July and August) in the lower Gild Hall. If you would like to receive email notifications and reminders, contact the Scholars Gild via Title your email “Scholars Gild Request” and include your name, comments, and request in the body of the email.