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