Skip Navigation
Victoria Hesford
Associate Professor 

 2058 Humanities Building
 On Leave - Fall 2022 Semester

 My research can be situated at the intersection of the interdisciplinary fields of American studies, feminist cultural studies, and queer studies, and focuses on how, and to what effect, political projects and movements are mediated through mass culture in twentieth and twenty-first century American culture. In particular, I look at how mass culture provides fantasies of collectivity and modes of belonging for feminist and queer political movements in the postwar era. In my book, Feeling Women’s Liberation (Duke University Press, 2013), I offer a critical history of the rhetorical production of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S. in and around 1970 in order to track the emotional economies that shaped the movement’s political constituency and enacted its political goals and claims. In my next project, I move more decisively into the 1970s, focusing on the representation of feminism in various forms of mass culture in order to explore a shift in the cultural logic and appeal of “women” as a political category in the postcolonial/ post cold war era. In a related and ongoing project, I engage with the work of the American suspense writer, Patricia Highsmith, in order to open up the problematics of queerness as a fantasy space of anti-normativity and political resistance in the late twentieth century. What I am most interested in, then, is thinking about how mass culture does not simply influence or constrain politics, but actually makes possible new political subjects and new forms of political protest, complicity, and resistance.

“Kate Millett” for Fifty-One Key Feminist Thinkers, edited by Lori Marso for the Routledge Key Guides Series (forthcoming August, 2016).

“On Not Being Women: the 1970s, Mass Culture, and Feminism,” Special Issue on “1970s Feminisms,” edited by Lisa Jane Disch, South Atlantic Quarterly, 114.4, October 2015, pp 713-734.

“Experience, Echo, Event: Theorizing Feminist Histories, Historicizing Feminist Theory," Introduction to the Special Issue on “Experience, Echo, Event: Theorizing Feminist Histories,” Feminist Theory, 15.2, August 2014, pp 103-117, co-edited with Lisa Diedrich.

“On the ‘Evidence of Experience’: an Interview with Joan W. Scott.” Special Issue on “Experience, Echo, Event: Theorizing Feminist Histories,” Feminist Theory, 15.2, August 2014, pp 197-207.

Feeling Women’s Liberation. Durham NC: Duke University Press, June 2013, 368pp. (Finalist, 2014 Lambda Literary Awards for Nonfiction; Reviewed in Choice, Contemporary Political TheoryGender and Society, QED, Signs, Subjectivity, The Journal of the History of Sexuality)
SAQ         Feeling Women's Liberation         Feminist Time Against Nation Time