Assistant Professor of History
Director of LGBTQ 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: Gender, Sexuality, and Punishment in Early America, examines the central roles that sexuality, gender and work played not only in the development of the penitentiary system but also in defining social norms for the newly formed United States. Her most recent publication, “Historic Heteroessentialism and Other Orderings in Early America,” was published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and examines the state of the field of early American history.
Her book, Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism, History as 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. 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 year-long seminar fellowship at The Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University.
Connecticut College recognized Manion for her work granting her the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Service Award.
In 2007, Manion was the founding director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Resource Center at Connecticut College, only the second center of its kind in the state. She is active nationally as a member of the Consortium for LGBT Resource Professionals and is working locally with area activists to establish stronger networks of support and communication within the community.
As a Governing Board Member for the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History, Manion is committed to the advancement of LGBTQ history and believes knowledge of the past is crucial to the ending of discrimination — and the liberation of oppressed groups in the future.
Manion's next project stems from a paper she delivered at the Lesbian Lives conference in Dublin Ireland in 2009 called "Crossing Genders: Female Masculinity in the Long 19th Century."
Jen teaches these courses at Connecticut College: Crime & Punishment in U. S. History, the History of Sexuality, and Same-Sex Sexuality in World History and Social Justice Movements in US History.
Visit the history department website.
"Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." – Howard Zinn