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Brian  Connolly

Brian Connolly

Brian Connolly
Associate Professor


Office: SOC 210
Phone: 813/974-2807
Fax: 974-6228



Ph.D., Rutgers, 2007


***On leave for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015***

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the nineteenth-century United States, history of sexuality, sentimentalism and families, and U.S. literary history. In the future I hope to teach courses on religion and secularism in the United States. I also regularly teach Theory of History, which is a required course for undergraduate history majors introducing them to the critical and theoretical discourses that have animated the writing of history over the course of the last half-century. In all of my courses I aim to expose students to the critical intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class, the political work of cultural discourse, and the insistent implication of history in the present.


My book, entitled Domestic Intimacies: Incest and the Liberal Subject in Nineteenth-Century America, looks at a series of discourses, including theology, phrenology, the law, anti- and proslavery, and ethnography in order to approach the problem of incest for the autonomous individual of liberalism. I am working on a series of historiographical articles on psychoanalysis and antihumanism. Finally, I am beginning a second book project on the intersection of kinship and religion in liberal, secular modernity, tentatively entitled “Sacred Kinships: The Vicissitudes of Liberal Modernity in the Nineteenth-Century United States.”

I am also a founding editor of the journal History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History, which is published by the University of Illinois Press. For more information about the journal, please visit:

History of the Present journal cover

Specialty Area

Nineteenth-Century United States, Family and Sexuality, Critical Theory

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
56795AMH 2010002American History I


CPR 120

Honors and Award

Barra Postdoctoral Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2010

Recent Publications

Domestic Intimacies: Incest and the Liberal Subject in Nineteenth-Century America book cover

Domestic Intimacies:Incest and the Liberal Subject in Nineteenth-Century America. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

“Liberalism’s Incestuous Subject: Private and Public Sex in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History (Summer 2011): 31-58.

“Intimate Atlantics: Toward a Critical History of Transnational Early America,” Common-place 11.2 (January 2011)

“'the family become a school of abominable impurity’: Incest and Theology in the Early Republic” Journal of the Early Republic (Fall 2010): 413-442.

"Incest, Hereditary Science, and the Nation in the Early Republic," Society for the History of the Early American Republic, 2008.