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Michelle Nickerson

Michelle Nickerson is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University, Chicago. She teaches courses on the history of women and gender, U.S. politics, social and political movements, and Urban America.

Nickerson developed an interest in the history of American social and political movements as an undergraduate at Rutgers University where her work at the Women’s Center immersed her in feminist activism and the history department introduced new worlds to her. At Yale, she joined the Ph.D. Program in American Studies, where she immersed herself in the history of the U.S. West, social movements, and women’s history. After graduating from Yale, she completing a fellowship at the Huntington Library, then taught for five years at University of Texas at Dallas before joining the faculty at Loyola in 2011.

Nickerson recently published Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton University Press, 2012),which documents the grassroots activism of conservative women in Cold War Los Angeles and explores the impact of that activism on the emerging American right. This work led to her interest in regional and metropolitan political-economic development, which she brought to her years of work on the American West in a volume essays, co-edited with historian Darren Dochuk called Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Place, Space, and Region (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). Nickerson is currently studying the Camden 28, a Catholic anti-war group of the Vietnam era apprehended, brought to trial, and acquitted after raiding a draft board office in 1971.

Recently named an OAH Distinguished Lecturer, Nickerson publishes and gives talks on women and conservatism, the Sunbelt, and the history of conspiracy theories. She is also co-moderator of the Newberry Library’s monthly Women and Gender Seminar.