Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Mona Siegel

Title: Professor of History

Office Location: 3058 Tahoe Hall

Email: msiegel@csus.edu

Office Phone: 916-278-3413

Mailing Address: 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6059


  • HIST 10:  History's Mysteries (The Holocaust, Antisemitism, and Racism)
  • HIST 51:  World Civilizations, 1500-Present
  • HIST 121:  Democracy and Human Rights in the Era of the French Revolution
  • HIST 122c:  Women's Global Activism in the 20th Century
  • HIST 192z: Undergraduate Readings Seminar (topics vary by semester and include "Pacifists, Warriors, Suffragists and Spies: Internationational Female Activism in the Early Twentieth Century" and "Global Feminisms")
  • HIST 200:  Graduate Seminar - History and Theory
  • HIST 280c and 280z:  Graduate Readings Seminars (topics vary by semester and touch on themes in modern European history, gender history, and feminist history)
  • HIST 282f:  Graduate Seminar - History and Memory
  • HIST 400:  Graduate Seminar - Teaching of History in College

Current Projects

With Louise Edwards, ed. My Revolutionary Years: The Autobiography of Madame Wei Tao-Ming (a reedition of this 1943 memoir with a new introduction, afterword, notes, and sources).

When I was about seven, I sat in my mother’s lap, round-eyed and still, and listened enchanted to old legends of the past. Of all of them, Mulan was my favorite. I never grew tired of hearing about her and begged for the story over and over again.”
So begins the memoir of Zheng Yuxiu (married name Madame Wei Tao-ming), a true modern-day Hua Mulan, one of the most influential women in twentieth century China, and one of the most remarkable feminists of her generation anywhere in the world. From smuggling bombs for Dr. Sun's Revolutionary Alliance, to a diplomatic appointment as envoy to the Paris Peace Conference, to establishing China's first female-led legal practice, to her appointment to the Nationalist government commission charged with modernizing China's civil code, to her position as chatelaine to the Chinese embassy in Washington during World War II, Zheng blazed a trail millions of women would follow in her stead. During her lifetime, enemies and friends alternatively belittled her in the most misogynist terms imaginable or heralded her as the beacon of new Chinese womanhood. What no one doubted was her importance. Yet, the political storms of post-war East Asia and Zheng Yuxiu’s close association with Chiang Kai-shek led her to die in obscure exile in Los Angeles in 1959, her life story fading from popular memory and her memoir gathering dust on library shelves.  With this reedition of Zheng's engaging 1943 memoir, Drs. Siegel and Edwards seek to enable Zheng Yuxiu to reintroduce herself, in her own words, to current and future generations of students and women’s rights activists hungry for knowledge of their global foremothers.


Gisèle Halimi’s Feminist Legal Activism: The Struggle for Women’s Bodily Safety and Autonomy in Twentieth Century France

If Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could be combined into one person and transported to mid-twentieth-century France, the resulting activist would resemble French-Tunisian lawyer Gisèle Halimi.  From the 1950s-1970s, Halimi led some of the most transformative legal battles in France.  Both in court and through high-profile public campaigns, Halimi opposed the military’s use of torture against Algerian nationalists, combatted the state’s prohibition on abortion, and demanded recognition of rape as a criminal offense.  For her efforts, she received death threats, but she also pushed French leaders to question racist and misogynist conceptions of justice and to protect women’s right to bodily safety and autonomy.  Halimi passed away in 2020, and her archives were opened to researchers in late 2022.  By investigating these sources in addition to published work, this book-length study will reexamine Halimi’s uniquely successful deployment of the public trial – fought simultaneously in the courtroom and in the court of public opinion – to emancipate women from oppressive laws that stifled their freedom and imperiled their welfare.




Peace on Our Terms:  The Global Battle for Women’s Rights After the First World War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020).

  • Awarded 2021 Elise M. Boulding Prize in Peace History
  • Received “Honorable Mention,” 2021 Barbara “Penny” Kanner Award, Western Association of Women Historians
  • Translated in French as Artisanes de la paix. La Lutte mondiale pour les droits des femmes après la Grande Guerre, trans. Camille Chaplain (Paris: Éditions des Femmes-Antoinette Fouque, 2022).
  • Translated in Dutch as Vrede op onze voorwaarden. De wereldwijde strijd voor vrouwenrechten na de Eerste Wereldoorlog, trans. Wilma Paalman (Amsterdam: Athenaeum, 2022).

The Moral Disarmament of France:  Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). 

  • Awarded 2006 History of Education Society Outstanding Book Prize


“The Paris Peace Conference and the Birth of Global Feminism,” Peacemaking and International Order after the First World War , ed. Peter Jackson, William Mulligan, and Glenda Sluga (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023), 337-360.

“Feminism and Democracy,” Routledge Global History of Feminism, ed. Bonnie Smith and Nova Robinson (London: Routledge, 2022), 379-393.

“’No Women of the World Hate War and Seek Peace More than the Colored Women’: Mary Church Terrell’s Bid for Racial Justice and Women’s Rights in 1919,” chapter in 1919: World (Dis)-Order, ed. Carl Bouchard and Normal Ingram (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022), 200-223.

“To Meet or Not to Meet:  International Feminist Organizing After the First World War,” Ariadne – Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte wird vom Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegun, 76 (June 2020), 84-101.

“Courtiser Woodrow Wilson pour obtenir le droit de vote : le combat des féministes françaises en 1917-1918,” Matériaux pour l'histoire de notre temps, numéro spécial, “Les peuples font la paix 1918-1923,” no. 129-130 (2018), 10-15.

“Negotiated Truth:  The Franco-German Historians Agreement of 1951 and the Long History of Cultural Demobilization after the First World War,” chapter in The Academic World in the Era of the Great War, ed. Marie-Eve Chagnon and Tomás Irish (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018), 233-250.

 “Feminism, Pacifism, and Political Violence in Europe and China in the Era of the World Wars,” Gender & History, special issue, “Gender & Global Warfare in the Twentieth Century,” 28, 3 (November 2016), 641-659.

“The Dangers of Feminism in Colonial Indochina,” French Historical Studies, 38, 4 (October 2015), 661-689.  

“Transcending Cross-Cultural Frontiers: Gender, Religion, Race, and Nation in Asia and the Near East,” Journal of Women’s History, vol. 27, no. 1 (spring 2015), 187-196.

Co-authored with Kirsten Harjes, “Disarming Hatred: History Education, National Memories, and Franco- German Reconciliation from World War I to the Cold War.” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 3 (August 2012): 370-402.

“Western Feminism and Anti-Imperialism: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s Anti- Opium Campaign,” Peace and Change 36, 1 (January 2011): 34-61. Awarded the 2011-2012 DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History.

“Paroles féministes et pacifistes au temps de la Grande guerre,“ in Paroles de paix en temps de guerre, ed. Sylvie Caucanas, Rémy Cazals, et Nicholas Offenstadt (Paris : Éditions Privat, 2006), 195-204.

“’History is the Opposite of Forgetting’: The Limits of Memory and the Lessons of History in Interwar France,” Journal of Modern History vol. 74 (December 2002): 770-800.

Germinal: Teaching about Class and Industrial Capitalism through Film”: Radical History Review 83 (Spring 2002), 180-185.

"‘To the Unknown Mother of the Unknown Soldier': Pacifism, Feminism, and the Politics of Sexual Difference among French Institutrices between the Wars," French Historical Studies vol. 22, no. 3 (summer 1999): 61-82.


Awards and Fellowships


• Elise M. Boulding Book Prize in Peace History (2021)

• Honorable Mention, Barbara "Penny" Kanner Book Award, Western Association of Women Historians (2021)

• CSUS, University Senior Faculty Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (2019-20)

• CSUS, College of Arts and Letters, Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activity Award, California State University, Sacramento (2014-15)  

• DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History for the best article on a topic related to peace history (2011-12)

• History of Education Society Outstanding Book Award (2006)

• Women's Studies University League Award for Excellence in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin (1993)


• National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2018)

• National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2016)

• National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001-2002)

• Spencer Foundation Small Grant Research Fellowship (Fall 1999)

• Research Fellowship, Centre de recherche de l'Historial de la Grande guerre, Péronne, France (Summer 1994)

• Peace Scholar, United States Institute of Peace (1993-1994)

• Council for European Studies Pre-Dissertation Fellowship (Summer 1992)



Review of The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War, The World Today, February/March 2023.

Date with History: Suffragists Demand a Voice,” The World Today, February/March 2022.

Global History of the 19th Amendment,” C-Span American History TV, first aired November 8, 9, 14, 25, 26, 27, 30, 2020.

“Will Disney’s Mulan Be Liberated Enough?Los Angeles Times, online August 6, 2020, print edition, August 11, 2020.

“The Forgotten Origins of Paid Parental Leave,” The New York Times, November 29, 2019.

America once led the push for parental rights.  Now it lags behind,” with Dorothy Sue Cobble in The Washington Post, Feb. 8, 2019.