- University of Michigan, PhD, History and Women's Studies, 2013
- Yale University, BA, History, 2005
Dr. French is a scholar of gender, sexuality, and religion in the early American republic. Her book, Against Sex: Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) examines celibacy and chastity as practiced by Shakers, Catholic religious orders, and Protestant sexual reformers. Her newest project, The Revolutions and Revelations of Mother Ann Lee. This book will portray the religious, political, and gendered upheaval of the Revolutionary Era through the eyes of Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shaker religious movement.