Micki McElya

Ph.D., New York University, Associate Professor
HoursSpring 2014, Tuesdays, 11:30-1:00 and by appt.
Office226 Wood Hall
Phone(860) 486-2085
Fax(860) 486-0641

Areas of Specialty

20th & 21st Century U.S., Histories of Women, Gender & Sexuality, Cultural History, Feminist & Queer Theories

Current Research Interests

McElya's two current book projects are: Grave Affairs: Arlington National Cemetery and the Politics of Bodies and Honor, under contract with Harvard University Press, and Freedom for Women! Protesting the Miss America Pageant in 1968, under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press. She is also at work on a study of feminism, anti-prostitution campaigns, and the history of human trafficking from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century.


Micki McElya received her B.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College in 1994 and a Ph.D. from New York University in 2003. Before joining the faculty of the University of Connecticut, she was an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Alabama (2003-2008). Her book, Clinging to Mammy, won a 2007 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She was named a "Top Young Historian" by the History News Network in 2008.

Selected Publications

Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).


"Remembering 9/11's Pentagon Victims and Reframing History in Arlington National Cemetery," Radical History Review--Special Issue Historicizing 9/11 no. 111 (Fall 2011): 51-63.

"A Response to Trevor Burnard's 'America the Good, America the Brave, America the Free,'" Journal of American Studies vol. 45, no. 3 (September 2011): 421-425.

"To 'Choose Our Better History': Assessing the Obama Presidency in Real Time," American Quarterly vol. 63, no. 1 (March 2011): 179-189.

"Painter of the Right: Thomas Kinkade's Political Art," in Alexis L. Boylan, ed., Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall (Duke University Press, 2011): 54-80.

"Commemorating the Color Line: The National Mammy Monument Controversy of the 1920s," in Cynthia Mills and Pamela Simpson, eds., Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art and the Landscape of Southern Memory (University of Tennessee Press, 2003).

"Trashing the Presidency: Race, Class and the Clinton-Lewinsky Affair," in Lauren Berlant and Lisa Duggan, eds., Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the Public Interest (NYU Press, 2001).

Image Credits

1. McElya portrait by Gary Bedard at http://garybedard.brushd.com/

2. "I am Furious (Female)"/by Ellen Cantarow, et al (Detroit: Radical Education Project, [1969?]). Courtesy of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut.

3. Combahee River Collective members and others, Boston, 1979.

4. Keith Haring, Silence = Death (1989).

5. T-shirt detail (2007). Courtesy of COPYSHOP initiated by Superflex and Copenhagen Brains.