Faculty Publications

Our dedication to research includes the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop, a work-in-progress series featuring UB faculty, the Signature Lecture series, conferences and symposia, writing and reading groups.

For more information on these initiatives, please go to:  Faculty Research Grants 
and the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop..

Award Winning Publications

Director's Research

Carrie Tirado Bramen. American Niceness: A Cultural History. Harvard University Press, 2017.

Book Cover image of American Niceness depicts Indigenous peoples and pilgrims gathered together sharing food.

American Niceness

The cliché of the Ugly American—loud, vulgar, materialistic, chauvinistic—still expresses what people around the world dislike about their Yankee counterparts. Carrie Tirado Bramen recovers the history of a very different national archetype—the nice American—which has been central to ideas of U.S. identity since the nineteenth century.

Niceness is often assumed to be a superficial concept unworthy of serious analysis. Yet the distinctiveness of Americans has been shaped by values of sociality and likability for which the adjective “nice” became a catchall. In America’s fledgling democracy, niceness was understood to be the indispensable trait of a people who were refreshingly free of Old World snobbery. Bramen elucidates the role niceness plays in a particular fantasy of American exceptionalism, one based not on military and economic might but on friendliness and openness. Niceness defined the attitudes of a plucky (and white) settler nation, commonly expressed through an affect that Bramen calls “manifest cheerfulness.”

To reveal its contested inflections, Bramen shows how American niceness intersects with ideas of femininity, Native American hospitality, and black amiability. Who claimed niceness and why? Despite evidence to the contrary, Americans have largely considered themselves to be a fundamentally nice and decent people, from the supposedly amicable meeting of Puritans and Native Americans at Plymouth Rock to the early days of American imperialism when the mythology of Plymouth Rock became a portable emblem of goodwill for U.S. occupation forces in the Philippines.

2022

Jasmina Tumbas, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Gender & Sexuality Studies

Book cover featuring a grainy black and white image of a woman leaning against a wall, midriff exposed. In pink lettering, the title "I am Jugoslovenka" is superimposed over the woman's lower body.

I Am Jugoslovenka

"I Am Jugoslovenka!” Feminist Performance Politics During & After Yugoslav Socialism (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2022).

"I am Jugoslovenka" argues that queer-feminist artistic and political resistance were paradoxically enabled by socialist Yugoslavia's unique history of patriarchy and women's emancipation. Spanning performance and conceptual art, video works, film and pop music, lesbian activism and press photos of female snipers in the Yugoslav wars, the book analyses feminist resistance in a range of performative actions that manifest the radical embodiment of Yugoslavia's anti-fascist, transnational and feminist legacies. It covers celebrated and lesser-known artists from the 1970s to today, including Marina Abramovic, Sanja Ivekovic, Vlasta Delimar, Tanja Ostojic, Selma Selman and Helena Janecic, along with music legends Lepa Brena and Esma Redzepova. "I am Jugoslovenka" tells a unique story of women's resistance through the intersection of feminism, socialism and nationalism in East European visual culture.

2021

Marla Segol, Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Marla Segol. Kabbalah and Sex Magic: A Mythical-Ritual Genealogy. Penn State University Press (2021).

Book cover image of Kabbalah and Sex Magic.

In this provocative book, Marla Segol explores the development of the kabbalistic cosmology underlying Western sex magic. Drawing extensively on Jewish myth and ritual, Segol tells the powerful story of the relationship between the divine and the human body in late antique Jewish esotericism, in medieval kabbalah, and in New Age ritual practice.

Kabbalah and Sex Magic traces the evolution of a Hebrew microcosm that models the powerful interaction of human and divine bodies at the heart of both kabbalah and some forms of Western sex magic. Focusing on Jewish esoteric and medical sources from the fifth to the twelfth century from Byzantium, Persia, Iberia, and southern France, Segol argues that in its fully developed medieval form, kabbalah operated by ritualizing a mythos of divine creation by means of sexual reproduction. She situates in cultural and historical context the emergence of Jewish cosmological models for conceptualizing both human and divine bodies and the interactions between them, arguing that all these sources position the body and its senses as the locus of culture and the means of reproducing it. Segol explores the rituals acting on these models, attending especially to their inherent erotic power, and ties these to contemporary Western sex magic, showing that such rituals have a continuing life.

Jenifer L. Barclay, Assistant Professor, Department of History

Book cover image of "The Mark of Slavery" in light blue and beige letters. A drawing of a young Black girl's face looking to the right is in the bottom left corner. There are two blue butterflies painted on her cheek.

The Mark of Slavery

Jenifer L. Barclay. The Mark of Slavery: Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum AmericaUniversity of Illinois Press (2021).

Time and again, antebellum Americans justified slavery and white supremacy by linking blackness to disability, defectiveness, and dependency. Jenifer L. Barclay examines the ubiquitous narratives that depicted black people with disabilities as pitiable, monstrous, or comical, narratives used not only to defend slavery but also to argue against it. As she shows, this relationship between ableism and racism impacted racial identities during the antebellum period and played an overlooked role in shaping American history afterward. Barclay also illuminates the everyday lives of the ten percent of enslaved people who lived with disabilities. Devalued by slaveholders as unsound and therefore worthless, these individuals nonetheless carved out an unusual autonomy. Their roles as caregivers, healers, and keepers of memory made them esteemed within their own communities and celebrated figures in song and folklore.

 

Prescient in its analysis and rich in detail, The Mark of Slavery is a powerful addition to the intertwined histories of disability, slavery, and race.

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, School of Social Work 

Meredith Conti, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance.

Melinda Lemke, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education.

Melinda Lemke, Amanda Nickerson, and Jennifer Saboda. "Global Displacement and Local Contexts: A Case Study of U.S. Urban Educational Policy and Practice." International Journal of Leadership in Education (2021).

Lemke, Melinda, and Katelyn Rogers. "Confronting Forms of Sexual Violence in Schools: De-Constructing Policy Paradoxes: De-Constructing Policy Paradoxes.The Palgrave Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management Discourse (2021): 1-20.

Miriam Thaggert, Associate Professor, Department of English

Book cover image of A History of the Harlem Renaissance.

A History of the Harlem Renaissance

Rachel Farebrother and Miriam Thaggert, eds. A History of the Harlem Renaissance. Cambridge University Press, (2021).

The Harlem Renaissance was the most influential single movement in African American literary history. The movement laid the groundwork for subsequent African American literature, and had an enormous impact on later black literature world-wide. In its attention to a wide range of genres and forms – from the roman à clef and the bildungsroman, to dance and book illustrations – this book seeks to encapsulate and analyze the eclecticism of Harlem Renaissance cultural expression. It aims to re-frame conventional ideas of the New Negro movement by presenting new readings of well-studied authors, such as Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, alongside analysis of topics, authors, and artists that deserve fuller treatment. An authoritative collection on the major writers and issues of the period, A History of the Harlem Renaissance takes stock of nearly a hundred years of scholarship and considers what the future augurs for the study of 'the New Negro'.

Gwynn Thomas, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Jennifer M. Piscoco, Hinojosa Magda, Gwynn Thomas, and Peter M. Siavelis. "Follow the Money: Gender, Incumbency, and Campaign Funding in Chile." Comparative Political Studies (2021): 1-32.

2020

Robert M. Adelman, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology

Robert M. Adelman et al. "Using Estimates of Undocumented Immigrants to Study the Immigration-Crime Relationship.Journal of Crime and Justice (2020).

Sarah Desai, Jessica Houston Se, and Robert M. Adelman. "Legacies of Marginalization: System Avoidance among the Adult Children of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States.International Migration Review vol. 54, no. 3 (2020).

J Coley and Robert M. Adelman. "Gentrification in the 'City of Good Neighbors': Race, Class, and Neighborhoods in Buffalo.Sociological Inquiry (2020).

Robert M. Adelman. "Cities and Immigrants: The Local in Anti‐Immigration Federal Policies.City & Community vol. 19, no. 2 (2020).

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, School of Social Work 

Alyssa N. Zucker and Lainy Y. Bay-Cheng. "Me First: The Relation Between Neoliberal Beliefs and Sexual Attitudes.Sexuality Research and Social Policy vol. 18 (2020).

Irus Braverman, Professor and William J. Magavern Faculty Scholar, School of Law

Book cover image of ancient ruins in the top left corner, the bottom half of the image is ocean.

Irus Braverman (Editor). Blue Legalities: The Life and Laws of the Seas. Duke University Press (2020).

The ocean and its inhabitants sketch and stretch our understandings of law in unexpected ways. Inspired by the blue turn in the social sciences and humanities, Blue Legalities explores how regulatory frameworks and governmental infrastructures are made, reworked, and contested in the oceans. Its interdisciplinary contributors analyze topics that range from militarization and Maori cosmologies to island building in the South China Sea and underwater robotics. Throughout, Blue Legalities illuminates the vast and unusual challenges associated with regulating the turbulent materialities and lives of the sea. Offering much more than an analysis of legal frameworks, the chapters in this volume show how the more-than-human ocean is central to the construction of terrestrial institutions and modes of governance. By thinking with the more-than-human ocean, Blue Legalities questions what we think we know—and what we don’t know—about oceans, our earthly planet, and ourselves. 

Picture of the header from Alcohol Research Current Reviews, which is a peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the NIH.

Jo Freudenheim, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Jo Freudenheim. "Alcohol's Effects on Breast Cancer in Women.Alcohol Research Current Reviews vol. 40 no. 2 (2020).

Jo Freudenheim was recently awarded the title of SUNY Distinguished Professor. 
In addition, Professor Freudenheim published an invited review on alcohol and breast cancer. It was published in Alcohol Research Current Reviews, which is a peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the NIH.

Octavio R. Gonzalez, Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar 2021-2022

Octavio R. Gonzalez. Misfit Modernism: Queer Forms of Double Exile in the Twentieth-Century Novel (Penn State University Press, 2020).

black and gray book cover with yellow and purple lettering reading "Misfit Modernism".

Misfit Modernism

From the Press: 

In this book, Octavio R. González revisits the theme of alienation in the twentieth-century novel, identifying an alternative aesthetic centered on the experience of double exile, or marginalization from both majority and home culture. This misfit modernist aesthetic decenters the mainstream narrative of modernism—which explores alienation from a universal and existential perspective—by showing how a group of authors leveraged modernist narrative to explore minoritarian experiences of cultural nonbelonging.

Tying the biography of a particular author to a close reading of one of that author’s major works, González considers in turn Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry, Jean Rhys’s Quartet, and Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man. Each of these novels explores conditions of maladjustment within one of three burgeoning cultural movements that sought representation in the greater public sphere: the New Negro movement during the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s Paris expatriate scene, and the queer expatriate scene in Los Angeles before Stonewall. Using a methodological approach that resists institutional taxonomies of knowledge, González shows that this double exile speaks profoundly through largely autobiographical narratives and that the novels’ protagonists challenge the compromises made by these minoritarian groups out of an urge to assimilate into dominant social norms and values.

Melinda Lemke, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education.

Melinda Lemke.  "When Sexting Crosses the Line: Educator Responsibilities in the Support of Prosocial Adolescent Behavior and the Prevention of Violence.Social Sciences, vol. 9, no. 9 (2020).

--- "(Un)doing Spatially Fixed Inequality: Critical Reflections on Urban School District-Community Partnerships.The Urban Review, vol. 52 (2020).

--- and Amanda Nickerson. "Educating Refugee and Hurricane Displaced Youth in Troubled Times: Countering the Politics of Fear Through Culturally Responsive and Trauma-Informed Schooling.Children’s Geographies, vol. 18, no. 5 (2020).

--- and Sergei Shubin. Special Issue. "Children displaced across borders: Charting new directions for research from interdisciplinary perspectives." Children’s Geographies, vol 18, no. 5 (2020). 

Lemke, M., 2020. Title IX in the era of #MeToo: An (un)silenced majority?. In: J. Surface and K. Keiser, ed., Women and Educational Leadership: A Practitioner's Handbook, 1st ed. Burlington, Ontario: Word & Deed Publishing., pp.73-90.

 

 

Dark book cover image of the Aesthetic Clinic.

The Aesthetic Clinic

Fernanda Negrete, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures

Fernanda Negrete. The Aesthetic Clinic: Feminine Sublimation in Contemporary Writing, Psychoanalysis, and Art. SUNY Press, (2020).

In The Aesthetic Clinic, Fernanda Negrete brings together contemporary women writers and artists well known for their formal experimentation—Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Lygia Clark, Marguerite Duras, Roni Horn, and Clarice Lispector—to argue that the aesthetic experiences afforded by their work are underwritten by a tenacious and uniquely feminine ethics of desire. To elaborate this ethics, Negrete looks to notions of sublimation and feminine sexuality developed by Freud, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Nietzsche, and their reinvention with and after Jacques Lacan, including in the schizoanalysis of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. But she also highlights how psychoanalytic theory draws on writing and other creative practices to conceive of unconscious processes and the transformation sought through analysis. Thus, the “aesthetic clinic” of the book’s title (a term Negrete adopts from Deleuze) is not an applied psychoanalysis or schizoanalysis. Rather, The Aesthetic Clinic privileges the call and constraints issued by each woman’s individual work. Engaging an artwork here is less about retrieving a hidden meaning through interpretation than about receiving a precise transmission of sensation, a jouissance irreducible to meaning. Not only do art and literature serve an urgent clinical function in Negrete’s reading but sublimation itself requires an embrace of femininity.

Tia Palermo, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Yekaterina Chzhen et al. “Impacts of a Cash Plus Intervention on Gender Attitudes Among Tanzanian Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, (2020).

Inequitable attitudes toward men’s and women’s roles, rights, and responsibilities are associated with poor health–related outcomes, particularly for girls and women. Yet, we know relatively little about what interventions work to improve gender-equitable attitudes among adolescents in low-income countries. This study examines the impact of a government-implemented “cash plus” intervention on gender-equitable attitudes among adolescents in Tanzania. The intervention includes discussions and activities related to gender norms, embedded in broader life skills, livelihoods, and health training.

Lora E. Park, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology.

Mary C. Murphy et al. “Open Science, Communal Culture, and Women’s Participation in the Movement to Improve Science.” PNAS, vol. 117, no. 39 (September, 2020). 

Science is undergoing rapid change with the movement to improve science focused largely on reproducibility/replicability and open science practices. This moment of change—in which science turns inward to examine its methods and practices—provides an opportunity to address its historic lack of diversity and noninclusive culture. Through network modeling and semantic analysis, we provide an initial exploration of the structure, cultural frames, and women’s participation in the open science and reproducibility literatures.

Margaret W. Sallee, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education.

Margaret W. Sallee and Danielle V. Lewis. "Hyper-Separation as a Tool for Work/Life Balance: Commuting in Academia.Journal of Public Affairs Education vol. 26, no. 4 (2020).

Despina Stratigakos, Professor, Architecture and Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence

Top third image of a mountain range in Norway. Middle third of the image features a dark blue background with the book title. The bottom third of the image is outdoor architecture featuring sharp lines.

Hitler's Northern Utopia

Despina Stratigakos. Hitler's Northern Utopia: Building the New Order in Occupied Norway. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Between 1940 and 1945, German occupiers transformed Norway into a vast construction zone. This remarkable building campaign, largely unknown today, was designed to extend the Greater German Reich beyond the Arctic Circle and turn the Scandinavian country into a racial utopia. From ideal new cities to a scenic superhighway stretching from Berlin to northern Norway, plans to remake the country into a model “Aryan” society fired the imaginations of Hitler, his architect Albert Speer, and other Nazi leaders. In Hitler’s Northern Utopia, Despina Stratigakos provides the first major history of Nazi efforts to build a Nordic empire—one that they believed would improve their genetic stock and confirm their destiny as a new order of Vikings.

Drawing on extraordinary unpublished diaries, photographs, and maps, as well as newspapers from the period, Hitler’s Northern Utopia tells the story of a broad range of completed and unrealized architectural and infrastructure projects far beyond the well-known German military defenses built on Norway’s Atlantic coast. These ventures included maternity centers, cultural and recreational facilities for German soldiers, and a plan to create quintessential National Socialist communities out of twenty-three towns damaged in the German invasion, an overhaul Norwegian architects were expected to lead. The most ambitious scheme—a German cultural capital and naval base—remained a closely guarded secret for fear of provoking Norwegian resistance.

A gripping account of the rise of a Nazi landscape in occupied Norway, Hitler’s Northern Utopia reveals a haunting vision of what might have been—a world colonized under the swastika.

Image of a woman in western clothing leaning on an acoustic guitar in front of a bonfire.

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls

Stephanie Vander Wel, Associate Professor, Music

Stephanie Vander Wel. Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960. University of Illinois Press, (2020).

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the booming popularity of country music threw a spotlight on a new generation of innovative women artists. These individuals blazed trails as singers, musicians, and performers even as the industry hemmed in their potential popularity with labels like woman hillbilly, singing cowgirl, and honky-tonk angel.

Stephanie Vander Wel looks at the careers of artists like Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox, and Kitty Wells against the backdrop of country music's golden age. Analyzing recordings and appearances on radio, film, and television, connecting performances to real and imagined places and examines how the music sparked new ways for women listeners to imagine the open range, the honky-tonk, and the home. The music also captured the tensions felt by women facing geographic disruption and economic uncertainty. While classic songs and heartfelt performances might ease anxieties, the subject matter underlined women's ambivalent relationships to industrialism, middle-class security, and established notions of femininity.

Margarita Vargas, Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Margarita Vargas. “El teatro como espejo de la humanidad en Vuelve cuando hayas ganado la guerra de Bárbara Colio.” In Shakespeare y otros clásicos contemporáneos: una mirada shakespeariana al teatro mexicano actual. Eds. José Ramón Alcántara Mejía and Hugo Salcedo Larios.  Universidad Iberoamericana: Mexico, 2020. 249-262.

Image of a Victorian woman with the book title text superimposed over her.

The Shapes of Fancy

Christine Varnado, Assistant Professor, Global Gender & Sexuality Studies

Christine Varnado. The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature. University of Minnesota Press, (2020).

The Shapes of Fancy offers a powerful new method of accounting for ineffable and diffuse forms of desire, mining early modern drama and prose literature to describe new patterns of affective resonance. It stages an impassioned defense of the inherently desirous nature of reading, making a case for readerly investment and identification as vital engines of meaning making and political insight.

 

 

Victoria Wolcott, Professor, History

Victoria Wolcott. "Networks of Resistance: Floria Pinkney and Labor Interracialism in Interwar America.” Journal of African American History, vol. 105 no. 4 (2020).

The life of Black labor activist Floria Pinkney exemplifies the powerful connections between labor unions, workers’ education, and the YWCA that set the stage for the long Civil Rights Movement. In the 1920s Pinkney attended three workers’ education colleges: Brookwood Labor College, the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, and the International People’s College in Denmark. Pinkney also became a prominent labor organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and worked in the New Deal’s Workers’ Education Project. The 1930s alliance between labor and civil rights generally marks the starting decade of the long Civil Rights Movement. But this alliance was fostered by an earlier left culture of social unionism and workers’ education. Pinkney’s journey through this world illustrates Black women’s propagation of this culture. Her life exposes how the expansive networks of labor and civil rights organizations empowered working-class Black women in the interwar period.

2019

Rachel Ablow, Professor, Department of English.

Rachel Ablow. "The Counterfactual in the Age of Trump.Victorian Literature and Culture vol. 47, no. 1 (2019).

--- "Taking Responsibility in Desire and Domestic Fiction.Modern Language Quarterly vol. 80, no. 1 (2019).

Robert M. Adelman, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology. 

Robert M. Adelman, Aysegul Balta Ozgen, and Watoii Rabii. "Buffalo's West Side Story: Migration, Gentrification, and Neighborhood Change.City & Community vol. 18, no. 3 (2019).

O. Nicholas Robertson and Robert M. Adelman. "Race, Ethnicity, and the American Criminal Justice System: The Perceptions and Experiences of West Indian Men." Race and Justice vol. 9, no. 4 (2019).

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, School of Social Work 

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng. "Agency Is Everywhere, but Agency Is Not Enough: A Conceptual Analysis of Young Women's Sexual Agency.Journal of Sex Research vol. 56, no. 4/5 (2019).

Melinda Lemke, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education.

Melinda Lemke. "The Politics of 'Giving Student Victims a Voice': A Feminist Analysis of State Trafficking Policy Implementation.American Journal of Sexuality Education, vol. 14, no. 1 (2019).

Melinda Lemke. "Educators as the “front line” of human trafficking prevention: An analysis of state-level educational policy." Leadership and Policy in Schools, vol 18, no. 3 (2019).

Murshid, N., Lemke, M., Hussain, A. and Siddiqui, S., 2019. Combating gender-based violence: Perspectives from social work, education, interdisciplinary studies, and medical anthropology. In: K. Smith and P. Ram, ed., Transforming global health: Interdisciplinary challenges, perspectives, and strategies, 1st ed. Springer, pp.83-96.

Meredith Conti, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance.

Adanma Onyedike Barton et al. "Normalizing Disruption: Advocating for Reproductive Health in Academia." Theatre Topics vol. 29, no. 1 (2019).

Libby Otto, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Department of Global Gender & Sexuality Studies

Black and white book cover image of a woman looking over her shoulder.

Haunted Bauhaus

Libby Otto. Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics. MIT Press (2019).

Winner: Peter C. Rollins Book Prize, 2019.

The Bauhaus (1919–1933) is widely regarded as the twentieth century's most influential art, architecture, and design school, celebrated as the archetypal movement of rational modernism and famous for bringing functional and elegant design to the masses. In Haunted Bauhaus, art historian Elizabeth Otto liberates Bauhaus history, uncovering a movement that is vastly more diverse and paradoxical than previously assumed. Otto traces the surprising trajectories of the school's engagement with occult spirituality, gender fluidity, queer identities, and radical politics. The Bauhaus, Otto shows us, is haunted by these untold stories.

The Bauhaus is most often associated with a handful of famous artists, architects, and designers—notably Paul Klee, Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, and Marcel Breuer. Otto enlarges this narrow focus by reclaiming the historically marginalized lives and accomplishments of many of the more than 1,200 Bauhaus teachers and students (the so-called Bauhäusler), arguing that they are central to our understanding of this movement. Otto reveals Bauhaus members' spiritual experimentation, expressed in double-exposed “spirit photographs” and enacted in breathing exercises and nude gymnastics; their explorations of the dark sides of masculinity and emerging female identities; the “queer hauntology” of certain Bauhaus works; and the role of radical politics on both the left and the right—during the school's Communist period, when some of the Bauhäusler put their skills to work for the revolution, and, later, into the service of the Nazis.

Margaret W. Sallee, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education.

 Margaret W. Sallee. "Complicating Gender Norms: Straight versus Gay and Queer Fathers in Student Affairs.The Review of Higher Education vol. 42, no. 3 (2019).

--- "Difficult Decisions: Commuting for the Academic Career.Teachers College Record vol. 121, no. 10 (2019).

Book cover image featuring an early American memorial grave.

Speaking with the Dead

Erik R. Seeman, Professor and Chair, Department of History

Erik R. Seeman. Speaking with the Dead in Early America. University of Pennsylvania Press (2019).

Winner: 2020 Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians.

In late medieval Catholicism, mourners employed an array of practices to maintain connection with the deceased—most crucially, the belief in purgatory, a middle place between heaven and hell where souls could be helped by the actions of the living. In the early sixteenth century, the Reformation abolished purgatory, as its leaders did not want attention to the dead diminishing people's devotion to God. But while the Reformation was supposed to end communication between the living and dead, the result was in fact more complicated than historians have realized. In the three centuries after the Reformation, Protestants imagined continuing relationships with the dead, and the desire for these relations came to form an important—and since neglected—aspect of Protestant belief and practice.

In Speaking with the Dead in Early America, historian Erik R. Seeman undertakes a 300-year history of Protestant communication with the dead. Seeman chronicles the story of Protestants' relationships with the deceased from Elizabethan England to puritan New England and then on through the American Enlightenment into the middle of the nineteenth century with the explosion of interest in Spiritualism. He brings together a wide range of sources to uncover the beliefs and practices of both ordinary people, especially women, and religious leaders. This prodigious research reveals how sermons, elegies, and epitaphs portrayed the dead as speaking or being spoken to, how ghost stories and Gothic fiction depicted a permeable boundary between this world and the next, and how parlor songs and funeral hymns encouraged singers to imagine communication with the dead. Speaking with the Dead in Early America thus boldly reinterprets Protestantism as a religion in which the dead played a central role.

Christine Varnado, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies.