Greta LaFleur is Associate Professor of American Studies. Her research and teaching focus on early North American literary and cultural studies, the history of science, the history of race, the history and historiography of sexuality, and queer & trans studies. Her first book, The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), reveals how eighteenth-century race science contributed to emerging sciences of sex in the colonial Atlantic world. She is currently at work on two new book projects: the first, tentatively titled A Queer History of Sexual Violence, examines the role of cultural and legal responses to sexual violence in the development of modern understandings of sexuality. The other, tentatively titled Counter-Empiricisms: Other Human Sciences in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, rewrites the story of early modern and eighteenth-century empiricism as an expansive, embodied form of knowledge-making that not only delimited understandings of humanness and enfranchisement in this period, but also, at times, expanded them.
She is also the editor (with Kyla Schuller) of a special issue of American Quarterly, “Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas” (2019); the editor (with William Huntting Howell) of the first volume of the Nineteenth-Century American Literature in Transition series, (under contract with Cambridge University Press); the editor, with Benjamin Kahan, of a special issue of GLQ on “The Science of Sex ‘Itself,’” (2022); and the editor, with Anna Klosowska and Masha Raskolnikov, of Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern (forthcoming with Cornell UP, Summer 2021).
LaFleur’s writing has appeared in Early American Literature, Early American Studies, American Quarterly, American Literature, Criticism, The New Republic, and on BLARB: The Blog of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Public Books. LaFleur’s research has been supported by fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Sciences), the American Council of Learned Societies, the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, MA), the William Andrews Clark Library at UCLA (Los Angeles, CA), the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University (Providence, RI), and the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA.