Cookie Woolner

Associate Professor, Department of History

(901) 678.2515
(901) 678.2720
Mitchell Hall 141
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Cookie Woolner


Ph.D., History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan, 2014.

Fields of Interest

My fields of interest are the history of women and gender, the history of sexuality and queer history, African American history, the history of popular culture, music, and performance, modern U.S. history, social and cultural history, and feminist/queer theory.

I have just published my first book, The Famous Lady Lovers: Black Women and Queer Desire Before Stonewall (UNC Press, 2023).

Courses taught

Dr. Woolner teaches the following courses: US History Since 1877; History of Women in America; Queer American History; Selling Sound: A Cultural History of American Music. She also teaches the following graduate courses: Women and Gender Historiography; Studies After 1877: US Cultural History; Popular American Music and Performance; Research Seminar.

Representative Publications

“Never No Wells Of Lonelinesses In Harlem:” Black Lady Lovers In Prohibition Era  New York,” Gotham: A Blog for Scholars of New York City History, June 2022. 

“Gay Harlem” entry, The People's Guide to New York City. Emily Molina, Penny Lewis, and Carolina Bank Munoz, eds. University of California Press, 2022.  

"LGBT History" chapter, Routledge History of the 20th Century United States. Darren Dochuk and Jerald Podair, eds. (Routledge, 2018)

Book review of LaShawn Harris’ Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy (Illinois, 2016), Journal of African American History, Vol. 104, No. 1, Winter 2019, pp. 127-129. 

"'Woman Slain in Queer Love Brawl:' African American Women, Same-Sex Desire, and Violence in the Urban North, 1920-1929," The Journal of African American History special issue: "Gendering the Carceral State: African American Women, History, and Criminal Justice," Cheryl Hicks and Kali Gross, eds., Vol. 100, No. 3, Summer 2015, pp. 406-427

Representative Conferences

“State of the Field: LGBTQ U.S. History,” virtual roundtable panel, Organization of American Historians, April 2021. 

“Blessed Are the Barren: Black Queer Women’s Critiques of Motherhood and Reproduction in the Early 20th Century,” Queer History Conference, San Francisco State University, June 2019.

"Southern Vaudeville Routes and the Circulation of Black Queer Possibilities," Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, 2018

"'Framing Women in Harlem:' Regulating Black Women's Sexuality in the Prohibition Underworld," American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, 2017

"A Very Enjoyable Stay in Gay Paree:" African American Women Performers and Queer Interracial Circuits in the Jazz Age," American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, January 2016

"Women's Queer Labor and Resistance in the Black Popular Entertainment Industry of the Early-Twentieth Century," American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, October 2015


Governing Board Member, The Committee on LGBT History (American Historical Association Affiliate Society)

Committee on the Status of LGBTQ Historians and LGBTQ Histories, Organization of American Historians, 2020-2024 (Chair for 2022-23).

Department Service: Teaching and Mentoring Committee (Chair); Women's History Month Executive Committee.