University at Buffalo Department of History


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Professor Cahn

Susan K. Cahn, Professor
office: 567 Park Hall
phone: (716) 645-8418


Education: BA, UC Santa Cruz, 1981; MA, Minnesota, 1985; PhD, Minnesota, 1990.

Courses Regularly Taught:
HIS 341 and 356: U.S. Women's History (pre-1890 and 1890 to the present)
HIS 557 U.S. Women's History (graduate seminar)
HIS 162 U.S. History II
HIS 241 History of Sexuality in America
HIS 366 History of Sexual Subcultures
HIS 424 Topics: Adolescence in America
HIS 450: Problems in 20th Century America: Race, Sex and Culture in the Modern South
HIS 578: U.S. Core II

Field(s): U.S. History

Hub(s): Gender, Culture and Society

Research Interests: U.S. Women's History, History of Sexuality, African American History, Southern History, Feminist Theory, LGBQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Queer) Studies

Current Research:
Currently finishing a book manuscript, "Sexual Reckonings: Adolescent Girlhood in the Modern South." The project examines African American and white southern teenage girls in the period of 1910-1960. It explores how adolescent girls' sexuality became a central issue in southern culture and politics, serving as a flashpoint--in popular culture and state policy--for intensely political conflicts over race, class, and gender relations in the South. The self-determination of adolescent girls as well as the perceptions, fears, hopes, and cultural responses of adults formed one important path of cultural and political negotiations over the larger issue of white supremacy and patriarchal control, the twin pillars of southern society.

Selected Publications:

Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age (Harvard University Press, 2007)

Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader edited by Susan K. Cahn and Jean O'Reilly (Northeastern University Press, 2007)

Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport (NY: Free Press, 1994; Harvard University Press, 1995).

"Come Out, Come Out Whatever You’ve Got; or Still Crazy After All Those Years," Feminist Studies (Spring 2003): 1-11

"Women's History in the New Millennium: A Conversation across Three 'Generations'," with Anne Firor Scott, Sara Evans, and Elizabeth Faue, Journal of Women's History, Part I in 11 (Spring 1999): 9-30; Part II in 11 (Summer 1999), 199-220.

"Spirited Youth or Fiends Incarnate: The Samarcand Arson Case and Female Adolescence in the South," Journal of Women's History 9 (Winter 1998), forthcoming.

"`So Far Back in the Closet We Can't Even See the Keyhole': Lesbianism, Homophobia, and Sexual Politics in Collegiate Women's Athletics," The New Lesbian Studies: Into the Twenty-First Century, eds. Toni McNaron and Bonnie Zimmerman (NY: Feminist Press of CUNY, 1996), 215-222.

"Sportstalk: The Uses, Possibilities, and Problems of Oral History in Sport History," Journal of American History 81 (September 1994): 594-609.

"Crushes, Competition and Closets: Homophobia in the History of Women's Physical Education," Women, Sport, and Culture, eds. Susan Birrell and Cheryl Cole, (Champaign: Human Kinetics Press, 1994), 327-339.

"From the `Muscle Moll' to the `Butch' Ballplayer: Mannishness, Lesbianism, and Homophobia in U.S. Women's Sport," Feminist Studies 19 (Summer 1993): 343-68; also in Women's America, 5th edition, ed. Linda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron De Hart, (New York: Oxford, 2000): 462-471.

Picture of Cahn's Book




Best Book (1994) in Sport History, North American Society for Sport History, Awareded 1995.

Affiliations and Other notes:
I have affiliations with Women's Studies, American Studies, and the Baldy Center of the Law School and participate in the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender (IREWG).


Last updated: Thursday, October 16, 2014

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