Michaela Reaves, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of History

Book this person as a speaker:

Email: reaves@callutheran.edu
Phone: (805) 493-3381


  • Padres, Pearls, and Pumpions: Spanish Influence on the Atlantic Seaboard.
    An exploration of the conflict between the three empires in the New World prior to Jamestown’s settlement as the dominant empire of Spain redrew the Atlantic map, the latecomer England struggled for a foothold, and the in situ Powhatan Confederacy vied for recognition.

  • Women in the West
    A multicultural story of strength and survival, this presentation discusses women during the Western movement of the 19th century in America.

  • The Way We Were: Betsy McCall and the Cold War
    In 1952, McCall's Magazine introduced a paper doll that became a part of the magazine for the next forty years. She was "“five, going on six, and she lives in a little white house with a porch and a yard to play in. Her mother and daddy and Nosy, her puppy, live in the white house too. Nosy is six months old. Betsy and Nosy and Betsy’s friends play together all the time. And every month from now on they’ll come to play with you too.” Despite the upbeat description, Betsy was a symbol of what the Cold War was fought over, but more than that she was a symbol of social and cultural mores, which will be explored in this presentation.

  • Salem: Was it Witchcraft?
    Salem conjures up tales of witches and specters, but the real story is one of politics, economics and illness. Hear the theories and pick the best answer!

  • So Much More Than Thanksgiving!
    Historians and anthropologists continue to discover new twists and turns in the story of that place we call "Colonial America," yielding nuance and new details of stories from Columbus to Roanoke about personalities, resistance, and accommodation. The story of the founding of America is a tale of diversity, starvation, kidnap, and bravery.

  • Rumors, Innuendo and the Presidency
    A sometimes amusing, sometimes shocking look at the gossip and, often truths, about the presidents from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson.

  • The Cold War: A Retrospective
    With declassification and distance, historians of the Cold War are now able to analyze the events with greater impartiality. This presentation presents an overview of the events and personalities that created the Cold War.

  • Beer, Bread and Beguines!: 2000 Years of Women in Business
    From Beer and Bread to the Beguines, women have demonstrated an entrepreneurial bent that led to many of the discoveries that fueled the growth of civilization. Like the old television advertisement sang, "Women can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan!" Meet some of these women in whose footsteps the CEO's of today follow!

Dr. Reaves specializes in American history, with an emphasis in sociocultural history. Her dissertation work was in the social organization of agrarian societies in California in the 1870s. She has published multiple articles and several reviews, including an essay for the Alexander Street Database on fractious farmers. Dr. Reaves is currently working on a paper entitled "The Colonial Crone: Women and Menopause in Colonial America" and another on "Agrarian Social Protest" in the late 19th century.  She has been chosen Professor of the Year three times by the senior classes of CLU and received the President's Award for Teaching Excellence. From 2008-2011 she collaborated with the Moorpark Unified School District to bring a U.S. Department of Education grant for Teaching American History (TAH) to three local school districts. In 2011, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collaborated with her Cold War America class to "Declassify the Cold War" and two years later a grant on Cold War artifacts, e.g. fall-out shelters in Nike missile sites, involved Capstone and Honors students in hands-on research of cultural memory.  With experiential learning projects a part of several classes, her latest is facilitated by a grant from the Library of America in remembrance of World War One.