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Kristin Olbertson


Professor of History



Contact Info

(989) 463-7246

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Kristin A. Olbertson is a professor of history. Her career at Alma began in 2006. Her research focuses on colonial courts, particularly in matters of speech and gender. She is currently at work on a project investigating how women in eighteenth-century New England established credibility when testifying and what types of knowledge they provided in both civil and criminal cases.

Educational Background:

  • B.A. History, Carleton College (1994)
  • J.D., University of Michigan School of Law (2000)
  • Ph.D. History, University of Michigan (2005)

Signature Courses:
Constitutional History; Approaches to Michigan History.

My Expertise

U.S. history through the Reconstruction era and U.S. legal, constitutional and women’s history.

Recent Work and Accomplishments

Olbertson, K. (2022). The Dreadful Word: Speech Crime and Polite Gentlemen in Massachusetts, 1690–1776 (Studies in Legal History). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Olbertson, K. (2013). Religion and Rights in Nineteenth-Century American Law: Reflections on the Work of Elizabeth B. Clark. American Journal of Legal History, 53(1), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajlh/53.1.121