April Haynes

Position title: Professor of History

Email: april.haynes@wisc.edu

Phone: 608.263.1823

Office: 4119 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4018 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: TBA

April Haynes headshot


I am a historian of women, gender, and sexuality in the early US. My research priorities include racialized gender, intimate labor, and women in social movements. I teach courses about women in early US/North American history, gender in world history, historiography and historical methods. My first book, Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology, and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth-century America, unearths the surprising origins of a sex panic that ultimately prepared many Americans to accept heteronormativity. My current research project, Tender Traffic: Intimate Labor Movements, 1790-1860, traces the roots of today’s service economy and recovers household and sex workers’ labor activism in the early republic. I am also writing a textbook entitled Debating Gender: A History from the Ancient World to the Present Day.


Ph.D., History, University of California, Santa Barbara: Doctoral Emphasis, Feminist Studies
M.A., History, University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., History and Women’s Studies, San Francisco State University


Selected Publications

  • “From Magdalen Asylum to Labor Depot: The Panic of 1819 and Gendered Economies of Labor,” Journal of the Early Republic 40:4 (Winter 2020) 709-715.
  • “Intimate Economies, 1790-1860” in A Companion to American Women’s History, 2nd edition, eds. Nancy Hewitt and Anne Valk, (New York: Blackwell-Wiley, 2020).
  • “Radical Hospitality and Political Intimacy in Grahamite Boardinghouses, 1830-1850,” Journal of the Early Republic 39:3 (Fall 2019).
  • “‘Sex-Ins, College-Style’: Black Feminism and Sexual Politics in the Student YWCA, 1968-1980,” in Women’s Activism and ‘Second-Wave’ Feminism: Transnational Histories, ed. Barbara Molony and Jennifer Nelson (London: Bloomsbury, 2017) 37-62.
  •  “The Trials of Frederick Hollick: Obscenity, Sex Education, and Medical Democracy in the Antebellum United States,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Volume 12: Number 4 (October 2003), pp. 543-574.

Advisor To

Selected Awards

  • Mellon New Directions Fellowship
  • James F. Broussard best first book prize, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
  • National Endowment for the Humanities-Massachusetts Historical Society Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Hench Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society

History Courses Taught

  • History 134 – Women and Gender in World History
  • History 201 – Women and Gender in US History
  • History 600 – Abolitionist Movements, 1619-present
  • History 600 – Political Economy of the Early United States
  • History 752 – Transnational Seminar in Gender and Women’s History
  • History 936 – Gender in Colonial North America and the Early United States