Jane Crosthwaite is interested in the roles of women in American religious history and Shaker history and art. Her biographical entries for R. Mildred Barker and Hannah Cohoon are included in the American National Biography project (Oxford University Press), and her reviews and articles are frequently published in scholarly journals. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Wake Forest University.
As a member of the religion department and one of the founding members of the women's studies program, Crosthwaite has three courses cross-listed in these two departments: Women in American Religious History (an exploration of the religious problems addressed by three centuries of American women, of the criticisms they faced, and of the questions still remaining on whether women assume leadership or service roles), Feminist Theologies (an examination of the theological, textual, and political struggles in contemporary feminist religious writing), and The American Shakers (a study of the new world of thought, action, and belief that appears when the Divine is seen as both male and female and when sex is viewed as the original fall from grace). She also teaches courses in ethics.
Crosthwaite's research is primarily directed toward a study of the drawings produced by the Shaker sisters during the mid-nineteenth century period known as the Era of Manifestations.
- "Crosthwaite Writes on Shaker Spiritual Notices," Office of Communications, February 19, 2014
- "Jane Crosthwaite--Faculty Award for Teaching," Office of Communications, February 26, 2009
- "MHC Faculty Celebrated February 23," Office of Communications, February 9, 2009
- "Crosthwaite: Scandalous Women and Religion," Office of Communications, February 5, 2009