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Carol Mason

Research Interests:
20th-century American culture and literature
critical studies of whiteness
race and reproduction
theories of gender and sexuality
Right-Wing Movements

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 the Otis A. Singletary Endowed Chair in the Humanities, University Research Professor, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Professor of English. In the College of Arts and Sciences she also contributes to Appalachian Studies, American Studies, Social Theory, and the Center for Equality and Social Justice, and she serves as faculty mentor in the NIH-funded program Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH). Beyond UK, Mason is affiliate faculty at the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies at University of California and serves on the editorial board of American Studies at University of Kansas. Her highly interdisciplinary and intersectional research has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities, the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of three 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 (SUNY Press, 2015). Her peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Signs, Cultural StudiesFrontiers, New Political Science, HypatiaJournal of Appalachian StudiesGLQ, Journal of Constitutional Law, and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Mason’s commentaries on current events have been published by Ms. Magazine, On the Issues, and the Oxford University Press blog. She has served as a source for journalists representing The New Yorker, the BBC, The Progressive, The Nation, Slate, Rolling Stone, and Democracy Now. She is working on her fourth monograph.

In 2021, The Guardian interviewed Mason for historical context to the anti-CRT craze:…

Office hours

Professor Mason is on research leave for the 23-24 academic year. During the fall, I will be available for committee work on campus and to graduate students. In the spring, I will be Visiting Scholar at the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies. Email me at

Selected Publications:

"Sentimentalizing Resentment: How Taylor Caldwell Set the Mood for the Far Right". The Public Eye Fall 2021.

"Created Equal but Equal in No Other Respect." Forthcoming 2022 in Male Supremacism in the United States.…

"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:…