Department of History, University of the Pacific

3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211

(209) 946-2928  email: esparks@pacific.edu





University of California, Los Angeles

Ph. D., History, September 1999, Advisors: Gary B. Nash, Ellen DuBois, Carole Shammas

Diss: Capital Instincts: The Economics of Female Proprietorship in San Francisco, 1850-1920

M. A., History, June 1996


University of California, Berkeley

B. A., English Literature, May 1991





Assistant Professor                                                                                               1999-present

History Department, University of the Pacific      

Courses Taught: Women in U. S. History; Contemporary Women’s Issues in Historical Perspective; Women and War; California History; Immigration History; U. S. History Survey II; Senior Research Seminar.




Women business owners in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women in nineteenth-century San Francisco, California laws regulating women’s economic activities, bankruptcy court records, Mary Ann Magnin, female financial literacy.




Book manuscript, tentatively titled Capital Instincts: Female Proprietors in San Francisco, 1850-1920, is under contract with University of North Carolina Press.


“Penny-Pinching Practicality: San Francisco Women’s Business Start-Up Strategies, 1850-1920.”  Paper accepted for presentation at the Berkshire Women’s History Conference, Claremont, California, May 2005. 


“Terms of Endearment: Informal Borrowing Networks among Northern California Businesswomen, 1870-1920,” Business and Economic History On-Line, Vol. 2 (Winter 2004).


“Terms of Endearment: Informal Borrowing Networks among Northern California Businesswomen, 1870-1920.”  Paper presented at the Business History Conference, Le Creusot, France, June 2004.


“Airing Dirty Laundry: Race and Gender in the San Francisco Laundry Industry, 1870-1920.”  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, Honolulu, Hawaii, August, 2003.


Book review of The Making of “Mammy Pleasant”: A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco, by Lynn M. Hudson in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 101, Nos. 1 & 2 (Winter/Spring 2003).


“Family Business,” entry for Encyclopedia of Family History published by ABC-CLIO, Fall 2001.


“Women, Family Cooperation and Small Business Proprietorship in San Francisco.”  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, January 2000.


“Married Women and Economic Choice: Explaining Why Women Started Businesses in San Francisco between 1890 and 1930,” Business and Economic History, 28 (Winter 1999), 287-300.


“Gold Intentions and Iron Wills: The Economic, Legal, and Personal Circumstances Behind Why San Francisco Women Started Businesses, 1850-1920.”  Paper presented at the Business History Conference, Chapel Hill, March, 1999.





Advisor, Tracy Oral History Project, Tracy History Museum.            Summer 2004


Advisor, Stockton Stories Project, Jacoby Center for Regional            Fall 2003 to Fall 2004

Studies, University of the Pacific.  Member of the Oral History

Advisory Committee, helping to formulate questions and

approach to interviews with immigrant families.


Elected, Strategic Planning Committee, College of the Pacific, Fall 2000 to Fall 2006

University of the Pacific.  Re-elected to a second-term. 

Committee activated by out-going dean to set agenda items

For new Dean in Spring 2002.


Organizer, “Is Science Sexy?” panel on Science and Gender Fall 2003

Sponsored by the Gender Studies Program, University of the



Director, Stockton History Research Project, Jacoby Center              Fall 2002 to Spring 2004

For Regional Studies, University of the Pacific.  Directed

research of forty students into Stockton’s history during the

1890s and 1930s.  Oversaw two public presentations of the

students’ research at the Stockton library. 


Faculty Advisor, Women’s Leadership Conference, University of            Fall 2002 to Spring 2003

the Pacific.  Worked with students and staff to create program

for second annual conference.


Invited Participant, Lodi Speaks Project, Lodi Arts Commission.            Fall 2001 to Spring 2002

Directed student oral history project focused on the WWII

experience of Lodi and Stockton Japanese Americans forced into

relocation.  Introduced authors of Farewell to Manzanar at public

presentation for 500 people in Spring 2002.


Curator, exhibit on Japanese American Forced Relocation                    Spring 2002

At Hutchins Street Sqaure, Lodi, California, funded by the

Lodi Arts Commission and California Council for the



Chair, Ad-Hoc Child Development Center Committee,                   Spring 2000 – Fall 2003

University of the Pacific.  Oversaw efforts of ad-hoc faculty

and staff committee to bring a child development center to

campus; interfaced with senior members of the administration and

Board of Regents; met with church and community representatives;

made presentations to staff, faculty, and administrators; attended

training seminar in southern California.


Member, Mentor II Planning Committee and Recipient of a               Fall 2001 to Spring 2002

Long Fellowship for the improvement of the course.  Hired and

supervised two student research assistants in development of

new curriculum; worked collaboratively with faculty on planning

committee; presented new curriculum to Mentor II faculty.


Member, Humanities Committee, College of the Pacific,             Spring 2000 to Fall 2002

University of the Pacific.  Advisor to current Humanities

Program Director at inception of Humanities Center; attended

Humanities Committee faculty planning retreat Spring 2000;

worked with faculty in art and art history to develop collaborative

student assignment on local history.


Appointed, Provost’s Task Force on Information Technology            Fall 2000 to Spring 2001

and Learning, Subcommittee on Pedagogical Applications,

University of the Pacific.