Jen Manion

Associate Professor of History
Director, LGBTQ Resource Center

Joined Connecticut College: 2006

B.A., University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., Rutgers University


The history of sexuality

Early American history

Social justice movements

Jen's book, Liberty's Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) shows the connections between the establishment of democracy, the abolition of slavery, and the expansion of the penal state and the implications for racialized and gendered ideologies of freedom, resistance, and dependency.

Manion was featured in the author's corner on October 12, 2015, of the popular blog "The Way of Improvement Leads Home" in addition to having a feature essay published on Guernica Magazine online on October 13 called "When White Liberals (and Black Elites) Make Things Worse." Manion also wrote an original essay from the book for the LGBTQ history website on "Prison Sex and Solitary Confinement."

Her first book, Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism (co-edited with Jim Downs, Routledge, 2004) is a collection of essays about the strength of movements that have organized for social justice and the struggle to document and pass on these histories.

Manion was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in 2012-2013 to examine female masculinity and representations of transgender experience in the 18th and 19th centuries. The new manuscript is in progress and tentatively titled, "Born in the Wrong Time: Transgender Archives and the History of Possibility, 1770-1870." Manion created a digital exhibit of some of this work called Transgender Children in Antebellum America and has published in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, and Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Jen has been nationally recognized for her work as founding director of the LGBTQ Resource Center, as Connecticut College was named one of the Top 25 LGBTQ Friendly Colleges and Universities in the country by the Huffington Post/Campus Pride in 2013 and 2014. Connecticut College also recognized Manion for her social justice work on campus with the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award. Jen serves as a major adviser in History and American Studies and serves on the steering committees of the Holleran Center in Community Action and Public Policy and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity.

Manion served a three-year term from 2008-2011 on the Governing Board of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History, an affiliate group of the American Historical Association and is committed to working at the intersection of activism & academia, bringing a passion for social justice and critical inquiry to all her work. As a graduate student, Manion held a dissertation fellowship at the prestigious McNeil Center for Early American Studies at The University of Pennsylvania, as well as a seminar fellowship at The Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University.

Visit the history department website.

Majoring in history.

Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.

Howard Zinn

Contact Jen Manion

Mailing Address

Jen Manion
Connecticut College
Box #5513
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


214 Winthrop Hall