Margot Canaday


Assistant Professor of History

Affiliated Faculty

 222 Dickinson Hall


Margot Canaday is a legal and political historian who studies gender and sexuality in modern America. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Canaday joined the History Department in 2008 after a three year term in the Princeton Society of Fellows. Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America, was published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. It examines military, immigration, and welfare policy to ask how homosexuality came to be a meaningful category for the federal state over the early- to mid-twentieth century. The dissertation on which the book is based won the Lerner-Scott prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH), as well as prizes from the Law and Society Association, and the University of Minnesota. She was also the recipient of the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the OAH. Canaday’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the OAH, the American Historical Association, the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, and twice by the Social Science Research Council. Her new book project is a queer history of the American workplace from the mid-nineteenth century to the present that integrates labor, business, legal, and women’s history with the history of sexuality.