Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Mary I. Bunting Institute Fellow
Princeton University
Perverse Ambitions, Deviant Careers: A Queer History of the American Workplace, 1900–2000

Margot Canaday is an assistant professor of history at Princeton University who studies gender and sexuality in modern America. Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2009), received the 2010 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American political history from the Civil War to the present. The Straight State examines immigration, military, and welfare policy to ask how homosexuality came to be a meaningful category for the American state over the early-to mid-20th century.

At the Radcliffe Institute, Canaday will shift her focus from the state to the economy with a new project that takes on the idea that 20th-century workplaces were part of the “straight world,” zones in which queer people historically disappeared. The project will draw on business, labor, and legal records, as well as memoirs and oral histories, to demonstrate by contrast how workplaces mattered to queer lives in the past.

Canaday received her BA from the University of Iowa and her PhD from the University of Minnesota. From 2005 to 2008, she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University. The Social Science Research Council has twice funded her work. In 2010, she was selected as an inaugural fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo