Nancy Lusignan Schultz was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and completed her B.A. cum laude in English and French at the College of the Holy Cross. Following a semester of study at both McGill University in Montreal and at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, she entered the Ph.D. program in English at Boston College, where she was a university fellow, and received her doctorate in 1984. She was a visiting professor at Boston College from summer 1988-98. Schultz joined the faculty at Salem State College in Massachusetts in 1983, where she co-directed the College’s Writing Center for fifteen years, and teaches writing and literature courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 1999, she was appointed coordinator of the College’s graduate programs in English. In Spring 2007, Dr. Schultz was elected English Department Chairperson and began this new position on July 1, 2007. She has been a Trustee of the Somerville Historical Society and Museum since 1995, and a Treasurer and Founding Officer of The Stowe Society, an author society devoted to Harriet Beecher Stowe, since 1996
Dr. Schultz was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship during AY 2003-04 and a Senior Fellowship at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, during AY 2002-03 for her current book project, a study of the 1824 Mattingly miracle in Washington D.C., under contract with Yale University Press.
In addition to her four books, Salem: Place, Myth, and Memory, with Dane Morrison(Northeastern UP, 2004, paper, 2005); Fire and Roses: The Story of the Charlestown, Massachusetts Convent Burning, August 11, 1834 (Free Press 2000); Veil of Fear: Nineteenth Century Convent Captivity Narratives by Rebecca Reed and Maria Monk (Purdue UP 1999); and Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture, Purdue UP 1999), she has written articles on both teaching and literary criticism. They include
Invited Contributor, entry on “Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States,” for American History Through Literature, 1820-1870, edited by Janet-Hover and Robert Sattelmeyer, pp.432-435. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006.
Invited Contributor, entry on “The Ursuline Convent” for The Encyclopedia of New England
Yale UP, 2005.
“Salem as Hawthorne’s Creation” in Salem: Place, Myth and Memory. Northeastern UP, Spring 2004.
“Salem Enshrined: Myth, Memory and the Power of Place” with Dane Morrison, in Salem: Place, Myth and Memory. Northeastern UP, 2004.
“Wunderbar.” Boston College Magazine, Spring (May) 2002.
“Miraculous Meddlings: Prince Hohenlohe’s Transatlantic Intercessions in Washington, D.C. and in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1824-1827.” Invited Submission, U.S. Catholic Historian, Special Issue on Gender, Winter (February) 2002.
“A Double-Spanned Bridge to Salem’s Past: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables at One Hundred Fifty.” Sextant: Journal of Salem State College, February 2002
“The Superior” Boston College Magazine, November 2000
"The Writing Center: More than a Fix-Up Station" with Frank Devlin. Crosscurrents: Writing Across the Curriculum, Salem State College, No. 3, 2-8, 1998.
" 'A Severe and Proud Dame She Was': Weetamoo and the Mother Superior as Female Antagonists in Captivity Narratives by Mary Rowlandson and Rebecca Reed" (invited submission), Studies in Puritan American Spirituality: Literary Calvinism and Nineteenth Century Women Authors, Vol. VI, 1997, 71-99, 1997.
Lifting the Veil: Remembering the Burning of the Ursuline Convent, edited with Nancy Natale. Thirty-two page exhibition catalog published by the Somerville Museum, Somerville MA, June 1997. Includes two articles by Schultz, an introduction, "Making Connections," and a reprint "The Ursuline Convent Riot: Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1834."
"The Artist's Craftiness: Miss Prissy in The Minister's Wooing." Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 20 No. 1 Spring 1992: 33-44.
Her published reviews include:
Rebecca Sullivan, Visual Habits: Nuns, Feminism, and American Postwar Popular Culture and Jeana DelRosso, Writing Catholic Women: Contemporary International Catholic Girlhood Narratives, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Fall 2006, Volume 25, Number 2.
Jason K. Duncan,Citizens or Papists? The Politics of Anti-Catholicism in New York, 1685-1821. American Catholic Studies, Vol. 117, No. 4 (2006), 85-87.
Carol Coburn and Martha Smith’s Spirited Lives, American Historical Review, March 2003
Alan Isler’s Clerical Errors, Hartford Courant, July 15, 2001
Trezza Azzopardi’s The Hiding Place, Hartford Courant, February 11, 2001
The Stowe Debate: Rhetorical Strategies in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Ed. Mason Lowance,
College Literature, October 1997
She has appeared as a project scholar in two recent documentary films: Faith in Providence: Women Religious in America, directed by Elizabeth Wilda, December 2007 and The Green Square Mile: The Story of the Charlestown Irish, directed by Maureen McNamara, 2006.
In 2006, she served as Chair of Judges for the 2005 Massachusetts Book Awards, non-fiction
for the Massachusetts Center for the Book
Other recent projects include work as
External evaluator, Hope College Department of English, Holland, Michigan,
Co-author (with Elizabeth T. Kenney) of White Paper on University Status
for Salem State College, Summer 2006
Author of folio for National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
for MAT in English program, Salem State College, Spring 2006
She has lectured in forums open to the public and at academic conferences, including
“Forgive Us Our Trespasses”:Titillation and Repulsion of Transatlantic Catholicisms
in the Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Transatlantic Women Writers Conference, Oxford England, July 2008.
“Burning Questions: The Charlestown Convent Fire, 1834” Explorers Life Long Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, May 2008.
“The Ursuline Convent Fire, 1834” Beverly, Massachusetts Public Library, January 2007
“Prince Hohenlohe’s Irish Cures,” Museum of Newport Rhode Island Irish History, January 2007
“The Research Detective.” Swampscott Historical Society, March 19, 2006.
“Foreign Affairs: Anti-Catholicism, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Mattingly Miracle of
1824,” January 8, 2006, American Catholic Historical Association/American Historical
Association, Philadelphia, PA.
“Working with Local History.” A presentation to the Somerville (Massachusetts) High School History Department. December 6, 2005
Invited Presenter: American Association for State and Local History, Pittsburg, PA,
September 23, 2005.
Academic Colloquium honorary speaker, April 7, 2005, Salem State College
Presenter: “Lifting the Veil: Nineteenth-Century Convent Captivity Narratives.”
University of Southern Maine, November 4, 2004
“Salem as Hawthorne’s Creation.” North Shore Smith College Club, Beverly,
Massachusetts, September 27, 2004
Presenter, Paul Revere Memorial Association Lecture Series, “A New England
Nightmare: Major Fires and Their Enduring Effects.” Old South Meeting House,
Boston, Massachusetts, September 7, 2004
Presenter, Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, July 1-4, 2004, Salem, Massachusetts “Hawthorne’s Swampscott Connection,” Swampscott Public Library, June 22, 2004
Presenter, New England American Studies Association, April 18, 2004, Salem,
Last Lecture, Salem State College, November 24, 2003
Invited Speaker, Gordon College, November 4, 2004
Presenter, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hartford, CT 2003
Presenter, New England American Studies Association, April 25-27, 2003
Emma Forbes Cary Lecture, Harvard University, March 16, 2003
Presenter, Health and Healing Initiative, Center for the Study of World Religions,
Harvard University, December 3, 2002
Presenter, The Boisi Center for the Study of Religion and American Life,
Boston College, November 12, 2002
"Veiled Northern Threats: The Canadian Factor in the 1834 Burning of the Charlestown, Massachusetts Ursuline Convent," American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, October 28-31, 1999.
"Bound and Determined: Toni Morrison's Use of Slave and Convent Captivity Narratives in Beloved and Paradise," with Cecilia Chapdelaine. Northeast Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, November 6-7, 1998.
"Representing Maritime Communities: The Museum Experience." Session Chair. New England American Studies Association Annual Conference, Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, May 9-10, 1998.
"'Lifting the Veil': The Burning of the Ursuline Convent in 1834." The Old South Meeting House lecture and concert series, Thursday, November 6, 1997, Boston, Massachusetts.
"'Fearful Symmetry': Combining History and the Arts in Developing a Multi-Media Public Exhibit on the Burning of the Ursuline Convent, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1834" with Jackson Schultz. New England American Studies Association Conference, Salem State College, May 1997.
"Female Celibacy, Communities and Convents in the Age of Margaret Fuller." New England American Studies Association Conference, Babson College, April 1995.
In addition to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Harvard University, Schultz has been awarded various grants for her scholarship, including a 1997 Publication Grant from Salem State College to help support publication of the Lifting the Veil exhibition catalog; and a Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities Major Grant ($6,000) for installation of the Lifting the Veil exhibition. She also received grants from the Somerville Arts Council, and from the Bay State Historical League to be scholar in residence at the Somerville Public Library in 1994. In 1995, she was invited to the Engendering American Catholic Studies: Seminar and Workshop, University of Notre Dame. Her participation in the seminar was fully funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation and the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.
Schultz has been interviewed frequently about her research interests. Selected articles/interviews include
"The Interview" by John Koch. Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, April 25, 1999.
"Schultz confronts fear in American society" by Kris Olson, Swampscott Reporter, January 7, 1999.
"The Best of '97: Visual Arts" by Christine Temin. The Boston Sunday Globe, December 28, 1997.
"Lifting the Veil" review by Melissa Katz, Art New England, October/November 1997.
"Lifting the Veil" feature by Alison King for New England Cable News, aired July 1997.
"A Scholar combines History and Art to Portray the Burning of a Convent" by Scott Heller, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 27, 1997.
"'Lifting the Veil' Battles Bigotry With Art" by Christine Temin. Boston Globe, May 14, 1997.
From 1987-1996, Schultz lived just a few miles west of Somerville’s Nunnery Grounds. She now lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts with her husband, two children, and her Australian cattle dog, Shadow.