BA Honors English, University of Mount Union
MA Higher Education Administration, Michigan State University
MST, Boston University School of Theology
MA, PhD American & New England Studies, Boston University
Research interests: Nineteenth century American literature, art, religion and music in historical context; sacred music in the secular world; song writing and performance; community development through singing; Southern Freedom Movement in the US.
Professor Boots was selected for a Boston University Humanities Foundation Junior Faculty Award in 2004–05. She also was awarded the E. Craig Brandenberg Scholarship from the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church in 1993 and 1996. In 1992 she received the Outstanding Writing Award for Women in United Methodist History for her essay, “‘As the Spirit Gave Utterance’: The Millennial Vocation of Deborah Davis Millett Taylor, 1795–1869” which is now part of the United Methodist archives at Drew University.
Her book, Singing for Equality: Hymns in the American Antislavery and Indian Rights Movements, 1640-1855 was published by McFarland & Co, 2013.
Organizations that have invited Professor Boots to speak are the annual American Studies Address at Salem State College, the Maine Women Writers Lecture Series, the Windsor (CT) Historical Society Lecture Series, and the Boston University Evergreen Program speakers Series. Professor Boots has also presented papers at professional organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the New England Historical Association, the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, the British Association for American Studies, the British Group in Early American History, and the Oxford Roundtable. Her Oxford Roundtable presentation was based on her paper “Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Abolitionist Soundtrack in Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which was published in Forum on Public Policy Online: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Vol. 2010. No. 2, Posted September 2010. http://forumonpublicpolicy.com/papers.htm.
Professor Boots often teaches advanced courses in American history and American literature through Metropolitan College at BU. She maintains close contact with the BU American & New England Studies program and welcomes any student’s questions about the American Studies concentration at the College of Arts & Sciences, an interdisciplinary program with a great deal of flexibility, for the final two years of undergraduate study.
Professor Boots teaches in the January Boston-London Program (2016-2017). From May to July 2012 Professor Boots taught HU 102 in the CGS Summer London Program with a select group of CGS students. Their trans-Atlantic study focused on British and American cultural expressions (literature, art, architecture, and film) from the 18th through the 20th centuries and how they reflected national attitudes, values, and ideals. What better background for the Queen’s Jubilee? Her later travel around England has provided new material for her teaching at CGS in Boston.
She has served as a faculty member and organizer for Boston Scholars, a summer orientation program for Boston-area students coming to BU.