Profile: Kent Peacock

Name: Kent W. Peacock Xmas15.png

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Program: PhD 

Major Field: Gender & Sexuality 

Minor Fields: US History to 1865, US History Since 1865, Latin America 

Major Professor: Suzanne Sinke 

Committee Members: Edward Gray, Robinson Hererra, Charles Upchurch, Dennis Moore (English) 

Dissertation topic: “Contracts & Consent: Sex and the Creation of American Men, Women, and States West of the Appalachians after the Revolution”

Bio: Kent holds a Dan and Sylvia Walbolt Fellowship package and is a historian of gender and sexuality in the United States and Latin America, with a focus on the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. He is originally from outside Detroit, MI, but also lived in Washington, DC and Boston, MA before moving south to study at Florida State. He has degrees in Sociology and American Studies from American and George Washington Universities. He became ABD in Spring 2016 and expects to complete his dissertation in Spring 2018.

His dissertation explores how the peoples living in the first American West (the expansive region between the Appalachian Mountains and Mississippi River) understood sex and sexuality and how sex played a role in defining gender, law, and the state between 1783 and 1825. This project fills a void in history of sexuality scholarship that often neglects western states, rural areas, or this period of the Early Republic, as well as political histories of the Early Republic and state building that overlook sexuality and laws on sex. Its analysis rests on a diverse source base of personal correspondence, laws, newspapers, and divorce and other court cases.

Beyond the dissertation, Kent’s research spans across many places and periods, but always connects through his interest in sexuality and gender history, especially on men and masculinity. One project, titled “Race, the Homosexual, and the Mattachine Society of Washington, 1961-1970,” questioned why the MSW, an early gay and lesbian rights group, failed to gain a racially diverse membership and thus unintentionally supported the construction of the homosexual subject in America as racially white. The article was published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality in May 2016.

Outside of the classroom and archive, Kent served as the President of the History Graduate Student Association at Florida State from May 2015-May 2017, is a member of the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows Student Collaboration Committee at Florida State, and is an editor for H-Grad. You can follow him on Twitter at @kentwpeacock or learn more about him at his website:

Grading/Teaching Experience:

Instructor, A History of the United States to 1877, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

Instructor, Latin America: A Cross-Cultural History, Summer 2017, Fall 2017

Grader, A History of the United States to 1865, Spring 2015

Grader, Nationality, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States, Spring 2014 and Fall 2014

Discussion Leader and Grader, A History of the United States to 1865, Fall 2013

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