Professor of History
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
I am a Professor of History in the Schools of Public Engagement and The New School for Social Research. I am also the Executive Editor of Public Seminar, a digital magazine of politics and culture based at The New School. My main research and teaching areas are in United States political history after 1970, the history of gender and sexuality, mass culture, media and internet Studies. I am currently working on a book called Click Bait Nation: the Origins of American iPolitics, under contract to Basic Books.
In addition to my scholarship, I contribute to broader public conversations in the digital and legacy media, where good history can help inform the public about critical issues of the day. In 2006, I became a media participant, launching my blog Tenured Radical on a free Blogspot platform (it is now my Twitter handle). In 2011, I was invited to move to The Chronicle of Higher Education, where I wrote until 2015. During this period I made the transition to what is often called public scholarship, writing for a general audience at publications that include Dissent, The Village Voice, Inside Higher Education, berfrois, review31, and Jacobin. Currently I am the Executive Editor of Public Seminar, a web publication at The New School for Social Research where scholars write the first draft of history for a general audience. I am also the Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative, which (among other projects) hosts OutHIstory.org, a digital history platform devoted to supporting research on the LGBTQ past.
My teaching reflects my scholarly commitments: to well-researched, accessibly written history; to historical writing that matters beyond the academy; to feminist and queer activist research; and to helping young historians acquire the methodological and technical tools they need to research and write the past in a twenty-first century digital world.
I am represented by the Sandra Dijkstra LIterary Agency, Los Angeles, CA.
I am available by appintment.
Ph.D., History, New York University
M.A., History, New York University
B.A., English, Yale University
American Historical Association
Organization of American Historians
American Studies Association
War on Crime: Bandits, G-Men and the Politics of Mass Culture, Rutgers University Press, 1998
With Renee Romano, Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America's Past, Rutgers University Press, 2018.
With Renee Romano, Doing Recent History: On Privacy, Copyright, Video Games, Institutional Review Boards, Activist Scholarship, and History That Talks Back, University of Georgia Press, 2012
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
"Sexual harassment is about power. Why not fight it as we do bullying?" The Guardian, February 10 2018.
“Public Figures, Private Lives: Eleanor Roosevelt, J. Edgar Hoover and a Queer History Without Sexual Identity,” in Leila Rupp and Susan K. Freeman, Ed., Understanding and Teaching U.S. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014), 199-212.
"Is it OK to Call Donald Trump Jr. a Boy" The Washington Post, July 24, 2017.
“When the Stars Come Out: Jodie Foster’s Queer Families and the Celebrity Private Sphere,” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking (winter, 2014).
“A Queer Public Sphere: Urban History’s Sexual Landscape,” Journal of Urban History, (July 2014).
“Thou Shalt Commit: The Internet, New Media, and the Future of Women’s History,” Journal of Women’s History vol. 25 no. 4 (Winter 2013), 350-362.
“Virtually a Historian: Blogs and the Recent History of Dispossessed Academic Labor,” Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques vol. 38. no. 2 (summer, 2012).
“Taking Back Times Square: Feminist Repertoires and the Transformation of Urban Space In Late Second Wave Feminism,” Radical History Review, issue 113 (spring, 2012).
“Paths to Political Citizenship: Feminism, Gay Rights and the Carter Presidency,” Journal of Policy History (winter 2011-12).
“Queer Hoover: Sex, Lies and Political History,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 15 no. 3 (September 2006). Awarded the 2007-08 Audre Lorde article prize by the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History (American Historical Association affiliate society).
“Fibber McGee’s Closet: Archives and the Digital Challenge,” Keynote for The Radcliffe Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University, April 5, 2016.
“On Beyond MOOCs: Why Humanists Should Be Shaping the Online World” on Thursday, February 25th, 4:30-6:00 p.m., in the Pane Room, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
“Did Feminism’s New Deal Begin in 1980?” University of California-Santa Barbara, September 26, 2015.
“AIDS Activism as American History,” Museum of the City of New York, May 14, 2015.
“The United States of AIDS: Building a Multi-Media Teaching Resource on the History of ACT UP,” Yale University, March 26, 2015.
“From Mississippi to Times Square: the Roots of the Radical Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement,” University of North Carolina, March 19, 2015
“Beyond the Sex Wars: Histories of Anti-Pornography Feminism,” Franklin and Marshall College, March 4, 2015.
“Andrea Dworkin’s Queer Friendships,” Keynote, Symposium on Academic Feminism, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, February 6, 2015
“Online Identities: The Promises and Perils of A World Without Gender,” University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, February 3 2015.
“The University of Facebook,” IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, Indiana University/Purdue University – Indianapolis, Monday October 13, 2014.
“Andrea Dworkin’s Queer Friendships,” Sexual Reputations Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, November 9, 2013.
“Classrooms of the Future” TEDx, Connecticut College, New London, CT, April 14, 2012.
"Virtually a Historian: Blogs and the Recent History of Dispossessed Academic Labor," Program in American Cultures, University of Michigan, February 14, 2012.
United States political history; gender, sexuality and feminism; digital humanities and Internet studies.
National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Grant, 2015
Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Digital Project Grant, 2014
Schlesinger Library Research Grant, 2013
AHA Committee on Lesbian and Gay History Audre Lorde article prize, 2008
Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant, American Historical Association, 1988
Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 1987
Dem. Crisis & Pol of Soc Media
Sexual Revol: Love in Public
Our Lives on the Internet