Carol Mason

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  • Professor, Department of Gender and Women's Studies
  • Professor, Department of English
  • Affiliate faculty, American Studies Program, and Appalachian Studies
  • American Studies
  • Appalachian Center
  • Social Theory
  • Center for Equality and Social Justice
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • English
213 Breckinridge Hall, on sabbatical 2019-2020
  • Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

B.A., English and philosophy, Denison University

M.A., English language and literatures, University of Minnesota

Ph.D., English language and literatures, University of Minnesota


Carol Mason is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Professor of English. She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities, the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Mason is affiliate faculty at the Center for Right Wing Studies at University of California, Berkeley, and serves on the editorial board of American Studies. She is the author of books examining different aspects of the rise of the right since the 1960s: Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-life Politics (Cornell University Press, 2002); Reading Appalachia from Left to Right: Conservatives and the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Controversy (Cornell, 2009); and Oklahomo: Lessons in Unqueering America (State University of New York, 2015). Her articles have appeared in various collections and peer-reviewed journals including Signs, Cultural Studies, Frontiers, Feminist Formations, New Political Science, Hypatia, Journal of Appalachian Studies, GLQ, Journal of Constitutional Law, and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, among others. She is working on a fourth book, Righting Women’s Literature: From Housewife Populism to Femonationalism.

Mason’s research on right-wing movements has also been featured in media commentary on current events.  See for example, this essay on antiabortion politics in The Progressive:  This essay in Rolling Stone magazine: this blogpost on Margaret Atwood's The Testaments:, and this article on the Boston marathon bombers:

Selected Publications: 

"Opposing Abortion To Protect Women: Transnational Strategy Since the 1990s."  special "Gender and the Rise of the Global Right" issue of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society vol. 44 no. 3 (2019):

"Right-wing Literature in the United States since the 1960s." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, a continuously-evolving, up-to-date digital encyclopedia, a scholarly alternative to crowd-sourced general reference materials proliferating online that relies on the extensive commitment to publishing literary works of Oxford University Press.

“Buckwild Mad Men: Necropolitics and Masculinity in Appalachia” in Place Matters. Kingsolver, Billings, eds. University Press of Kentucky, 2018.

Oklahomo: Lessons in Unqueering America. Queer Politics and Cultures series, SUNY Press, 2015. For a review, see

Reading Appalachia from Left to Right:  Conservatives and the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Controversy. Cornell University Press, 2009.

Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-life Politics. Cornell University Press, 2002.

"Swastikas in Cyberspace: How Hate Went Online," co-authored with Chip Berlet, in Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States. Edited by Patricia Ann Simpson and Helga Druxes. (Maryland and London: Lexington Books, 2015): 21-36. Reproduced as "Swastikas in Cyberspace: Ultra-Right White Supremacy and Antisemitism Online" in Trumping Democracy in the United States: From Ronald Reagan to the Alt-Right, edited by Chip Berlet. Routledge, 2018.

"How Not To Pimp Out Reproductive Justice: Adventures in Education, Activism, and Accountability," Frontiers, vol. 34, no. 2 (2013): 226-241.  Access the article here: or here: .

"Perpetual States of Emergency: The Sexuality of Terrorism in Middle America," Feminist Formations, vol. 25, no. 2 (Summer 2013): 152-172. Access the article here:

"From Textbooks to Tea Parties: An Appalachian Antecedent of Anti-Obama Rebellion." West Virginia History, New Series, vol. 5, no. 2 (Fall 2011):1-27. Reprinted in West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader. Kevin Barksdale and Ken Fones-Wolf eds. (Morgantown: West Virginia University, 2015). Available at

“The Hillbilly Defense: Culturally Mediating U.S. Terror At Home and Abroad.” NWSA Journal 17.3 (2005): 39-63. Reprinted in Masculinity Lessons: Men, Masculinity, and Women’s and Gender Studies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).

“Reproducing the Souls of White Folk.” Hypatia 22.2 (2007): 98-121.  

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Dare?  Confronting Anti-abortion Terrorism after 9/11.” Journal of Constitutional Law 6.4 (2004): 796-817.  Reprinted in Gender and Apocalyptic Desire, Brasher and Quinby, eds. (London: Equinox, 2006).   

Review of Dangerous Pregnancies: Motherhood, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America by Leslie Reagan (University of California Press). American Studies 51:3/4:


Office hours

I am on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 academic year. I am available by appointment only. Email me at

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