Cookie Woolner

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Cookie Woolner

Doctoral Candidate in History & Women’s Studies

1029 Tisch Hall, Ann Arbor MI, 48109-1003

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Women's Studies
  • Fields of Study
    • Late 19th/early 20th C. U.S. history
    • race, gender and sexuality
    • popular performance and popular culture
  • About

    I am a cultural historian of race, gender and sexuality in the modern
    U.S. My dissertation, “‘The Famous Lady Lovers:’ African American
    Women and Same-Sex Desire from Reconstruction to World War II,” is the
    first large-scale investigation of black women who loved women prior
    to the modern gay liberation movement. It analyzes the proliferation
    of queer black women’s identities and networks, focusing on New York
    and Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s against the backdrop of the Great


    “‘Only Women Were Present:’ Space and Place in African American Women’s Same-Sex Behavior in the 1920s,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 2013.

     “‘Have We a New Sex Problem Here?’ The Great Migration and the Emergence of African American ‘Women Lovers,’” Intersections: Black Queer Sexuality Studies Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, October 2012.

     “‘Never No Wells of Lonelinesses in Harlem:’ African American ‘Lady Lovers’ and Sexual  Knowledge in 1920s New York,” Queer Places, Practices, and Lives Conference, Ohio State University, May 2012.

    “‘Ethel Must Not Marry:’ Black Swan Records and the ‘Queer’ Classic Blues Women, International Association for the Study of Popular Music Conference, New York University, March 2012.

    “‘Where’s That Partner of Mine?’ The Queer Performances of Ethel Waters and Ethel Williams,” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, November 2011.



    "American Excess: Cultural Representations of Lillian Russell in Turn-of-the-Century America," Historicizing Fat in Anglo-American Culture, ed. Elena Levy-Navarro. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2010

  • Education
    • BA, Cultural Studies & Gender Studies, Hampshire College, 1996
    • MA, Humanities, San Francisco State University, 2006
  • Grants
    • Institute for the Humanities Graduate Student Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2013-2014
    • The Black Metropolis Research Consortium Short-Term Fellowship in African American Studies, University of Chicago, July 2012
    • Rackham Humanities Research Dissertation Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2012-2013