Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

United States

Michelle Nickerson

Title/s: Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director

Office #: Crown Center 523

Phone: 773.508.2228

E-mail: mnickerson@luc.edu

CV Link: Nickerson CV


Michelle Nickerson is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of History at Loyola University Chicago.  She teaches courses on the history of women and gender, U.S. politics, social movements, cities and suburbs.  She is a member of the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Lecturer Program and co-convener of the Newberry Library’s monthly Women and Gender Seminar.

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.  After graduating from Yale with her Ph.D. and completing a fellowship at the Huntington Library, Nickerson taught for five years at University of Texas at Dallas before joining the faculty at Loyola in 2011.  In 2012 she published Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton University Press),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 examines in a volume of essays, co-edited with historian Darren Dochuk called Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Place, Space, and Region (University of Pennsylvania Press).  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.

YouTube Video

Research Interests

U.S. Women’s and Gender History, 20th Century Political and Urban History, American Conservatism

Courses Taught

  • HIST 211: U.S. History to 1865
  • HIST 212: U.S. History since 1865
  • HIST 300: Women in 20th Century America
  • HIST 381: Rebels and Reformers in American History
  • HIST 394: The 1960s
  • HIST 442: U.S. Women’s and Gender History
  • HIST 460: U.S. Urban Social and Cultural History
  • HIST 561: Seminar: Women's and Gender History

Selected Publications

Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012)

Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region  (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, co-editor, 2011)

"Goldwater's 'Moral Mothers?: Miscalculations of Gender in the 1964 Republican Presidential Campaign," Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, ed.  Goldwater Reconsidered: The Senator's Life, Politics, and Influence (Tempe: University of Arizona Press, 2013).

"Politically Desperate Housewives: Women and Conservatism in Postwar Los Angeles,” California History 86:3 (June 2009), 4-21.