Nolan_PhotoI recently completed a PhD in English at the University of Connecticut, where my research and teaching interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, feminist theory, literary recovery, and labor history. I also hold an MA in American Studies and a BA in English and American Literature. My scholarship has appeared in Signs, Legacy, and The Journal of American Studies, among other journals.

My doctoral project, “Professions of Intimacy: Work, Reproduction and the Professional Woman in the Progressive-Era United States,“Professions of Intimacy” employs historicist and feminist methodologies to examine how U.S. women writers intervened in professional institution formation during the Progressive Era. Professionalism as Americans practice it today rewards self-regarding behaviors that appear awkwardly aligned, if not incompatible, with collectivist goals. My dissertation establishes that this paradigm was not inevitable. At the turn of the twentieth century, a crucial moment in U.S. labor history, women’s professionalism was a site of radical possibility. Reading novels, short stories, essays, journalism, and correspondence, I demonstrate that Progressive Era theorists regarded professional women as crucial allies of labor organizers and working-class women. Moreover, professional women during this period insisted that capitalists and professional institutions alike consider the social conditions of women’s reproductive lives.

My postdoctoral project, provisionally entitled “The Origins of Antifeminism: Women and the Politics of Social Protection in the United States,” will interrogate a question that arose in the aftermath of the 2016 United States presidential election: why do large numbers of American women continue to subscribe to worldviews ostensibly inimical to their own interests? I propose to address this question by examining the history of U.S. women’s entanglements with social protection, from the appearance of the word “antifeminist” in the American Journal of Sociology in 1895 to the present day. Twentieth-century social historians have distinguished between the pre-World War Two “Old Right” conservative movement and the more coherent, culturally influential “New Right” movement that began to coalesce in the middle of the century. Despite the conceptual value of this framework, such an approach is largely based on the exclusion of women’s perspectives and cultural production. By tracking the shifting contours of protective discourse, my approach will bring women’s experiences to the fore and, in doing so, illuminate antifeminism’s transforming representational aesthetics.

 

To access my curriculum vitae, click here.