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Works Not Cited

Works Not Cited

By Tessa Payer
In which a recent college grad with a history degree (that's me, Tessa!) shares all the historic narratives (but mainly women's history and material culture) that have caught her eye in her post undergrad/post thesis life!
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Open House- Get Thee To A Nunnery: Amesbury Priory and the Nun-Princess

Works Not Cited

Open House- Get Thee To A Nunnery: Amesbury Priory and the Nun-Princess

Works Not Cited

Open House- Get Thee To A Nunnery: Amesbury Priory and the Nun-Princess
On the first Open House episode of this season of Works Not Cited, I’m taking you to the opulent private chamber of Mary of Woodstock at Amesbury Abbey and discussing the life of this nun-princess; her early veiling, her material world, her involvement in intercession, and (briefly) her love of gambling. I’ve been looking forward to digging into Mary’s material life for months, and I’m really excited to bring this episode to you all today. Learn more and bibliography at
November 19, 2020
The Goddaughter of the Virginians: the 18th century experience of five Murray women
After a bit of a break, I’m back with the season premiere of Works Not Cited!!! Today, I’m putting a spin on all the Virginia history I learned in college and discussing the lives of the Murray ladies, the wife and daughters of the infamous Lord Dunmore. From Virginia to Italy, this episode discusses colonial politics, Georgian society, women’s experiences, secret marriages, financial independence and inheritance, and more. I’m really happy to be back recording and sharing history with you all, and I hope you enjoy this episode! Learn more and episode notes at 
November 12, 2020
Bonus Ep: History and The Umbrella Academy
Did you want a podcast episode where I ramble about the history behind season 2 of the Umbrella Academy? Well, I decided to be a total nerd and record this fun bonus episode to celebrate recording my 20th episode of Works Not Cited! If you’re looking for some 1960s history (JFK assassination! Counterculture! Civil Rights Movement! LGBTQ Dallas! The Umbrella Man!) feat me laughing at my own jokes, you've come to the right place. (Also thank you to everyone who's listened to Works Not Cited so far, you're all wonderful, and I'm absolutely loving sharing history with all of you!) Bibliography and learn more--
October 9, 2020
The Five Moons of Ballet- Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, Yvonne Chouteau, and Maria and Marjorie Tallchief
Today, to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day (which is this coming Monday, October 12th!!) I’m sharing the stories of the Five Moons; five indigenous women from Oklahoma who gained international fame as ballet dancers in the early 20thcentury! They were brilliant performers, leaders, and educators, bringing attention to Native American artistry through their dances. I absolutely loved researching these women, especially since their words survive in books, documentaries, and interviews, and I’m so excited to share their narratives with all of you! Resources to learn more and bibliography at 
October 8, 2020
Open House: Reinterpretation- Installing the Damascus Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Today’s Open House takes you through the Damascus Room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a wonderful example of a Syrian qa’a. Besides a room tour, I dive into some analysis, discussing historical interpretation, contextualization, and Orientalism in collections. It’s a big topic that might bring up more questions than I answer, but hopefully gives a little look into both Syrian history and the interpretation of period rooms! Learn more and bibliography available at
October 1, 2020
One Woman in Wartime- Edna Odell and World War I
Today, I’m tracing New York resident Edna Odell’s experience of WWI; serving as a nurse with the American Red Cross, working with war orphans as part of the Children’s Bureau, and eventually adopting two children herself. This episode is the product of the research I’ve been doing as a volunteer for the Friends of the Odell House Rochambeau HQ, which has been an absolute blast and pulled me down numerous rabbit holes! Learn more and bibliography available at 
September 24, 2020
Open House- Hiding the Secret Annex: The helpers of Prinsengracht 263
Today, I’m taking you to a famous building in 1940s Amsterdam; Prinsengracht 263, where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years to escape Nazi persecution and violence during the Holocaust. While the Secret Annex remains the most well-known part of the building, I’ll be taking you through the rest of the structure, introducing (and hopefully doing justice to) the helpers who kept the Annex occupants safe and, in the words of Anne Frank herself, “displayed heroism in their cheerfulness and affection”. Learn more/bibliography available at 
September 17, 2020
Stories in Every Stitch: a Deep Dive into an Altered Gown
Today, I’m diving deep into fashion history with a study of a gown in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection that has a history from 18th century women’s silk design to 19th century fancy dress! Female artisans, business-owners, consumers, inheritors, and partiers- they’re all here! Learn more and bibliography at
September 10, 2020
Open House- Library to the Lost Generation- Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company
Today's Open House takes you to 1920s Paris to the rue de l’Odeon, where Sylvia Beach gathered the literary community and the Lost Generation in her bookstore and library, Shakespeare and Company! With a listen, you can tour the shop where Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and more borrowed books and gathered for literary debate, and get to know the woman who was the heart of this literary community. It’s an homage to avid readers. Learn more and bibliography available at
September 3, 2020
Riding with the Cavalry- The Life And Work of Mabel Ping-Hua Lee
Today, I’m commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification and certification of the 19th Amendment (and the work still to be done regarding women’s rights) by shedding some light onto the life and work of Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Chinese-American suffragette, feminist, writer, educator, and activist. Featured in the New York Tribune in 1912, she is probably best known for leading the May 4th, 1912 women’s suffrage demonstration in NYC on horseback as part of a women’s cavalry! I say ‘amazing’ a lot this episode because it’s hard to find the right words to convey how inspiring learning about Lee’s life was. Learn more and bibliography can be found at
August 27, 2020
Open House: Health, History, and Horses at Saratoga Springs, NY and Disney’s Saratoga Springs
Today, I’m taking you to Florida and New York to discuss how the history of Saratoga Springs, NY was translated in design to Disney World's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa! It's an excuse for me to discuss history based hotel design and pay homage to an upstate New York town that's close to my heart! Learn more and bibliography accessible at
August 21, 2020
A Graduation Portrait- Marie Gordon, Holsinger’s studio, and African American education in Virginia
Today, I’m returning to Virginia with a discussion of Rufus Holsinger’s striking photograph of Marie S. Gordon, on the occasion of her 8th grade graduation! This leads into the larger themes of African American education in Virginia (the Bray School! Gowan Pamphlet! Education in secret!) and visual culture (combating white supremacy with images of dignity!). Extra resources and bibliography can be found at
August 13, 2020
Open House: Shoes on the stair- Olga Gumpertz and life in a NYC tenement
Today, I’m taking you back in time in the Big Apple and discussing tenement life for German immigrants in the 1880s through the eyes of 12 year old Olga Gumpertz. It's a bit of a twist on the usual Jacob Riis narrative. Apologies ahead for some of the audio inconsistencies, recording was just a little crazy today! Enjoy!
August 6, 2020
Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger and her search for Enlightenment
Today on Works Not Cited, I’m taking cues from musical theatre yet again by discussing the life of Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, who secured Vincent van Gogh’s legacy, strove for self-improvement and fulfillment, and features prominently in the musical Starry.   Episode Notes (apparently there's a lot!)-
July 30, 2020
Open House- Revealing myself as a Disney nerd- Modernism and the history of Disney's Contemporary Resort
Today, I’m talking about a hotel I had a really yummy 20th birthday cupcake at; Disney’s Contemporary Resort!! If you didn’t know, I am a total Disney nerd and indulge myself today by talking about modernism, technology, urban planning, female artists, and, you guessed it, Richard Nixon at the happiest place on earth! Episode notes were too big, so they can be found here-
July 23, 2020
Friendships on the page- the friendship album of Amy Matilda Cassey
I was a page into Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s ‘A Fragile Freedom’ when I found my latest topic for a Works Not Cited episode! Today I’m discussing the friendship album of Amy Matilda Cassey, female friendships, and the activism of African American women in mid-19th century Philadelphia! Learn More- If They Should Ask- Black Founders: The Free Black Community in the Early Republic- The Cassey & Dickerson Friendship Album Project- Bibliography- Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City. London: Yale University Press, 2008. “19th-Century African American Women’s Friendship Albums Online.” Fine Books & Collections. July 11th, 2012. Accessed July 10th, 2020. “History & Materiality.” Cassey & Dickerson: Friendship Album Project. Accessed July 10th, 2020. Good, Cassandra. “How Early-19th-Century Students Cemented Their Bonds Through Friendship Albums.” Slate. May 6th, 2016. Accessed July 10th, 2020. Taunton, Matthew. “Print Culture.” British Library. May 15th, 2014. Accessed July 10th, 2020. “Friendship album of Moyses Walens.” British Library. Accessed July 10th, 2020. “Margaretta Forten.” If They Should Ask. Accessed July 15th, 2020. “Sarah Mapps Douglass.” If They Should Ask. Accessed July 15th, 2020.
July 16, 2020
Open House- dining on the Titanic
For the second episode of Works Not Cited: Open House, I discuss two of the dining rooms on the Titanic, First Class and Third Class, and use their design to discuss immigration, historical revivalism, society, wealth, and imperialism. As my longest episode to date, it’s pretty obvious that I’ve got a few thoughts about eating on the ‘ship of dreams.’ Episode notes can be found here  because they were too big!
July 9, 2020
“She is now sitting on the sofa”- the retirement of Eliza Hamilton
To celebrate Hamilton coming to Disney +, I’m talking about the woman who inspired a lot of my research, Eliza Hamilton, and the end of her life in Washington DC. Suggested Reading!! Gordon-Reed, Annette. “The intense debates surrounding Hamilton don’t diminish the musical- they enrich it.” Vox. September 13th, 2016. Accessed June 28th, 2020. Chandler, Clare. “’Let me be part of the narrative’- The Schuyler Sisters ‘almost’ feminist?” Contemporary Theatre Review 28, vol. 3. Accessed June 28th, 2020. Andrews, Maddie. “ ‘I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel’- Why in Hamilton needs to be evaluated.” Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America’s Past. Edited by Renee C. Romano and Claire Bond Potter. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 2018. Bibliography Lossing, Benson J. The Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution Vol I. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860. Harrison, Samuel Alexander, Memoir of Lieutenant Colonel Tench Tilghman, secretary and aid to Washington. Albany: J. Munsell, 1876. “November 9: Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1854).” The Church of the Epiphany. November 8th, 2017. Accessed June 28th, 2020. Cleveland Daily Herald, Cleveland, Ohio, 1 March 1845. Newspaper article. From The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, University of Virginia, Rotunda. Accessed June 28th, 2020. Holly, Eliza. Eliza Holly to Catherine Schuyler Malcom Cochran, June 30th; July 16th, 1850; 1851; August 12th, 1851; March 21st, 1851; December 19th, 1852; December 22nd, 1852; July 7th, 1854; November 16th, 1854; 1855. Letter. From Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, The Hamilton Family Papers, 1768-1930. Accessed July 2nd, 2020. Holly, Eliza. Eliza Holly to John Church Hamilton, September 5th, 1854. Letter. From Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, The Hamilton Family Papers, 1768-1930. Accessed July 2nd, 2020.
July 2, 2020
Open House- salons and the Powel House second floor parlor
Today I’m debuting the newest Works Not Cited segment and taking you on a little tour of the Powel House’s parlor! Links Philadelphia Museum of Art, Powel House Room- Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, Powel House- Bibliography Shields, David S. and Fredrika J. Teute. "The Republican Court and the Historiography of a Women's Domain in the Public Sphere." Journal of the Early Republic 35, no. 2 (2015): 169-183. Lee, Katharine Diane. “’The Young Women Here Enjoy a Liberty’: Philadelphia Women and the Public Sphere, 1760s-1840s.” PhD. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 2016. Kirtley, Alexandra Alevizatos. “Front Parlor from the Powel House, Philadelphia, 1769-70.” Winterthur Portfolio 46, no. 2/3 (2012): E12-E23. House Tour, Powel House, Philadelphia, PA. May 24th, 2019. Maust, Ted. “The Account Books of Elizabeth Willing Powel: Part 2, The People.” Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. November 16th, 2017. Accessed June 24th, 2020.
June 25, 2020
“I am free now, and choose to remain so”- the story of Ona Judge Staines
Today, to commemorate Juneteenth, I’m sharing the story of Ona Judge Staines and her escape to freedom from enslavement in the President’s House. To Learn More…. Colonial Williamsburg will be going live on Facebook on June 19th at 2pm to celebrate Juneteenth- Montpelier has a variety of talks, performances, walking tours, etc planned to celebrate Juneteenth-; Colonial Williamsburg’s Mary Carter portrayed Ona Judge Staines in this amazing performance!!- Works Cited Wright, Hope and Deirdre Jones. “What is Juneteenth?” June 10th, 2020. Accessed June 18th, 2020. “History of Juneteenth.” Juneteenth. Accessed June 18th, 2020. Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. New York: 37 Ink, 2017. Thompson, Mary. “Slavery and Marriage.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Accessed June 17th, 2020. “Washington’s Runaway Slave.” US History. Accessed June 18th, 2020.
June 18, 2020
Shared History
In this episode, I highlight some African American historians who have inspired me during my college career! I tried to copy and paste my bibliography and list of resources, but unfortunately it was too big for the episode notes! So, it can be accessed using this link- Please reach out to me via Instagram or by leaving a comment on Anchor if you're having trouble accessing!
June 11, 2020
A love letter to household accounts
Dedicated to the love of my research life, the household account. You're a pretty cool source. Works Cited in today's episode... Washington household journal, 1793-1797, manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania collection of George Washington family papers, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. New York: 37 Ink, 2017. Holland, Jesse J. The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House. Guilford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Dotson, Carly. “George Washington Sees the Circus: Examining the President’s Household Accounts.” Washington Papers. October 11th, 2019. Accessed May 28th, 2020. Wilson-Lee, Kelcey, Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Princesses of King Edward Longshanks. London: Pegasus Books, 2019.
May 28, 2020
People in the past loved their pets
The imperial family of Russia probably would’ve posted on Dogspotting Society if they had Facebook. Quotes from Helen Azar's Maria and Anastasia: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses in their Own Words, in which she compiles the two sisters' letters and diaries. For more information about Azar's amazing books (reading primary sources is so much fun!!) check out 
May 21, 2020
Works Not Cited- intro!
Welcome to the sequel to Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World, Works Not Cited!
May 21, 2020
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: The end of the summer!
In which I get a little sappy (and I think my voice is all scratchy from the talking I’ve done) and end my summer! Thank you and much love to everyone who’s listened! ❤️
August 20, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Theories- Republican Motherhood and Marvel Phase 4
It’s almost the end of the summer, and I’m hyped up on Republican womanhood, Priscilla Mason, Liberty Hall, and Spider Man’s visit to Dorset
August 16, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Podcasting in Bed
From the comfort of my bed, I discuss my latest visit to NYC, new definitions of politics, and my favorite lake. It’s a feel good episode, I think.
August 7, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: D&D, Clothes, and Research Woes
After a fantastic visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I’m reflecting on the approaching end of the summer (screeee) and ways to deal with stress (D&D!)
August 1, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: I ramble about historical ladies
As if I do anything else on this podcast, today I share my favorite quotes from my NYC archive adventure and highlight some pretty awesome ladies!
July 25, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Getting Serious (about stranger things)
I got up late this morning and immediately the nerves kicked in, so today I talk about my thesis nerves and my Stranger Things worries!
July 19, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Back at it again at Krispy Kreme
Using a vine reference as a title, I recap my time in Bath, my wild pub adventures, spa time, and visit to Kensington Palace (don’t worry, I’m still doing a thesis!!)
July 16, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Bon Voyage and onto Bath!
I can’t believe that I’m going to Bath, so here’s my thoughts the day before- I haven’t packed, I recount my Wilmington adventure with only a little bad language, and I talk about what I’m looking forward to!
June 6, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Research and Relaxation
Back from Memorial Day weekend and the John Jay Homestead, I recap about Sarah Jay, my love of Star Wars, reading books in an hour, and swimming!
June 1, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: The Return from Philadelphia
Tune in to hear about my research haul, getting used to cities, account books, and historic house museums!!
May 25, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Philadelphia, Here I Come!
Under a blanket in a cold Airbnb, I discuss what’s next in research, my first day in Philly, and bemoan my post-riding sore body.
May 22, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: An Outdoor Adventure
I try and recap my day at the Met, my love of rooms and gelato, and my workout regimen with a background of car noises, wind, and birds. For my blog posts, click on this link—
May 18, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: Oklahoma isn’t how I remember it...
In which I discuss the Republican Court, 1740s criminals, the musical Oklahoma, and the start of a new Netflix series.
May 15, 2019
Nerdy Girl in a Thesis World: And so it begins
Today, I justify my rambling, describe my thesis and my summer, and meet my arch nemesis; the scanner.
May 12, 2019