Regina Kunzel

Regina Kunzel's picture
Larned Professor of History and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
HQ 201

Currently serving as Acting Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) for Spring and Fall 2023.

Regina Kunzel, Larned Professor of History and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, is an historian of the modern United States with interests in histories of gender and sexuality, queer history, the history of psychiatry, and the history of incarceration. 
Kunzel’s most recent book, In the Shadow of Diagnosis: Psychiatric Power and Queer Life (University of Chicago, forthcoming April 2024), explores the encounter of queer and gender-variant people with psychiatry in the twentieth-century US.  Kunzel’s book Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2008), was awarded the American Historical Association’s John Boswell Prize, the Modern Language Association’s Alan Bray Memorial Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality’s Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Award, and was a finalist for the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize.  Kunzel is also the author of Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890 to 1945 (Yale University Press, 1993). 
Kunzel received her BA from Stanford University and PhD from Yale University. Before joining the faculty at Yale, she taught at Williams College, the University of Minnesota, and Princeton University.  She has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Social Science Research Council, and is an elected member of the Society of American Historians.
Kunzel is currently co-director of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities.  
Recent publications:
“Sex Panic, Psychiatry, and the Expansion of the Carceral State,” in Intimate StatesGender, Sexuality and Governance in Modern U.S. History, eds. Margot Canaday, Nancy F. Cott, and Robert O. Self (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021).
“The Power of Queer History,” American Historical Review 123:5 (December 2018): 1560-1582.
“The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability,” in The Oxford Handbook of Disability History, eds. Michael A. Rembis, Catherine J. Kudlick, Kim Nielsen (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2018): 459-476.
“The Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality,” Modern American History 1:1 (Spring 2018): 97-100.
“Queer History, Mad History, and the Politics of Health,” American Quarterly 69:2 (June 2017): 315-19.
“Lessons in Being Gay: Queer Encounters in Gay and Lesbian Prison Activism,” Queer Futures, special issue of Radical History Review No. 100 (Winter 2008): 11-37.