Carol Mason

  • Professor and Chair, Gender and Women's Studies
  • Affiliate faculty, Department of English, American Studies Program, and Appalachian Studies
  • American Studies
  • Appalachian Center
  • English Department
  • Gender & Women's Studies
  • Social Theory
213 Breckinridge Hall
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 serves on the editorial board of American Studies, published by the University of Kansas, and on the board of directors of National Advocates for Pregnant Women.


Carol Mason is an interdisciplinary scholar of twentieth-century American culture known for her research on the rise of the right since the 1960s. A postdoctoral fellowship from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and Harvard University funded research for her first book, Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-life Politics, published by Cornell University Press in 2002.  The Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities sponsored her residency at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia at Marshall University, during which she researched her second book, Reading Appalachia from Left to Right: Conservatives and the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Controversy, also from Cornell (2009). Other publications have appeared in Cultural Studies, NWSA Journal, Frontiers, Feminist Formations, Journal of Appalachian Studies, American Studies, Hypatia, Journal of American History, New Political Science, Journal of Women's History, GLQ, Journal of Constitutional Law, Nantahala Review, and various edited collections.  Funded in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and a prize for scholarly excellence from Oklahoma State University, the third book appeared in 2015. Oklahomo: Lessons in Unqueering America is part of the SUNY Press series, Queer Politics and Cultures.

Mason’s research on right-wing movements has also been featured in media commentary on current events.  See for example, this essay in Rolling Stone magazine: and this article on the Boston marathon bombers:

Selected Publications: 

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

"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

Fall 2016:  Tuesdays 1-4 and by appointment

Recent and Upcoming Presentations

2017 February 8 New York University

2017 April Colorado College.

2016 National Women's Studies Association, Montreal: "Towards Reproductive Justice: A Lesson Plan for First Timers and Doubtful People." Friday, Nov 11, 12:30, Palais de Congress 524C.

2016 American Studies Association, Denver: Doing American Studies in Red State America II: Roundtable Discussion. Thursday, Nov. 17, 6pm Level 4 Capitol 4.

2016 Oklahomo book tour:  February 2: Norman, OK OU 7-9pm; February 3: Tulsa OK; February 4: Stillwater OK, OSU 5.30pm.

"Midwestern Roots and National Fruits: The Origins and Implications of Anita Bryant's AntiGay Discourse," Center for Right-Wing Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Februrary 2014.

"Transnational Regionalism: The Case of Oklahoma," keynote address for Mid-America American Studies Association conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 2012.

"Queer Designs: Bruce Goff and Cold War Homophobia," in the American Culture and the Long Shadow of the Red Scare panel at Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Paris, France, July 2012.

"What's this Cow Doing in My Queer Theory?"  invited lecture, The Ohio State University, Columbus, September, 2012.

"Ethical Dilemmas in Interdisciplinary Research: A Workshop for Feminist Scholars" created for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, September, 2012.

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