Jennifer Hall-Witt

Lecturer in History

Jennifer Hall-Witt

Contact & Office Hours

Wright Hall 230



Ph.D., M.A., Yale University

B.A., Northwestern University


Jennifer Hall-Witt specializes in the cultural history of 18th- and 19th-century Britain, with a particular interest in gender history, the history of the arts and political culture. Her book, Fashionable Acts: Opera and Elite Culture in London, 1780-1880, was published by the University Press of New England in July 2007. This study approaches the opera as a social (and gendered) space, using it to develop new perspectives on the decline of the British aristocracy by exploring changes in the elite's cultural practices and modes of public display from the 1780s to the 1880s. She has also published essays on opera and opera-going in a number of edited books, most recently an essay on the formation of an operatic canon at the Italian Opera in London in the 19th century. Currently, Hall-Witt is working on an essay on masculinity, virtuosity and opera in print culture in London in the 1830s and 1840s. 

Her teaching interests focus especially on women's history and include a lecture course on Women and Gender in Europe, 1789-1914 (HST 252), as well as a colloquium on Gender and the British Empire (HST 238). She has also offered courses organized around the rich materials in the Smith College Archives, including one on Women and Higher Education, which explores the first three generations of Smith students (HST 289), and one on Women and WWI, which examines the Smith College Relief Unit, the first women’s college relief unit to do reconstruction work in France during WWI (HST 355).  She has also offered a survey course on British history from 1688 to 1914 and a seminar on British cultural history.