Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  
American Studies

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Micki McGee

Micki McGee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology (at Rose Hill)
Director, American Studies Program

B.A., M.F.A. University California, San Diego
Ph.D., City University of New York, 2002

Office: Dealy Hall 405C
441 E. Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458-9993
Phone: (718) 817-3860
Fax: (718) 817-3846
Twitter: @mickimcgee


Micki McGee is a sociologist of culture and culture critic. Her first book, Self-Help, Inc: Makeover Culture in American Life (Oxford University Press, 2005), examines America's burgeoning culture of self-improvement and has been widely reviewed and discussed in national and international publications including on National Public Radio, the BBC, Le Monde Diplomatique, The New Statesman, Newsweek,, the American Journal of Sociology, American Quarterly, Social Forces. Self-Help, Inc was translated in Korean as The Trap of Self-Development (Akom Press, 2012.) 

McGee joined the sociology faculty of Fordham University in 2007, while she was serving as the Spencer Trask & Company Curator for the New York Public Library's exhibition on Yaddo. That research resulted in a major exhibition that drew an audience of more than 80,000 viewers and an edited volume entitled Yaddo: Making American Culture (Columbia University Press, 2008). McGee is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts and residencies at the McDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and Mesa Refuge.

Her essays and articles have been published by The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Afterimage, Art & Text, High Performance, and Social Text, as well as by the Centre Georges Pompidou and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She also serves as the Chair of Fordham's Digital Humanities Working Group and has been a member of the Social Text Editorial Board since 2006.  For additional information, see McGee's webpage at

Research Interests
Sociological theory, sociology of art, culture, and media; advanced digital technologies for humanities scholarship, digital humanities; academic labor in the digital age.

2005. Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2012. The Trap of Self-Development. Seoul: AKOM Publishing. (Korean translation of Self-Help, Inc: Makeover Culture in American Life)
2008. Yaddo: Making American Culture. New York: Columbia University Press.

2013. “Cruel Optimism for the Neurologically Queer,” Social Text Periscope, January 15.

2012. “Neurodiversity." Contexts 11(3):12-13. Winner of the 2014 American Sociological Association Claude Award.

2012. “From Makeover Media to Remaking Culture: Four Directions for the Critical Study of Self-Help Culture.” Sociology Compass 6(9):685-693.

2009. “Keyword: Body,” Social Text 100 27(3): 58-62.

2008. “Creative Power: Yaddo and the Making of American Culture.” Pp. 1-15 in Yaddo: Making American Culture. New York: Columbia University Press.

2008. “Blue Team, Grey Team: The Varieties of Contingent Faculty Experience.” Pp. 97-112 in The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace, edited by Monica Krause, Mary Nolan, Michael Palm, and Andrew Ross. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

2007. "The Secret's Success." The Nation 284(2)(June 4): 4-6.

2005. “Belabored: The Cult of Life as a Work of Art.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle Review 52(4)(September 16): B-17.

2002. “Hooked on Higher Education and Other Tales from Adjunct Faculty Organizing.” Social Text 20(1)(Spring 2002): 61-80.

Courses Taught
Undergraduate: Sociological Theory; Sociology of Culture; Popular Culture; Sociology Focus: Constructing the Self; Introduction to Sociology;Art and Society; Approaches to American Studies; Social Theory Goes to the Cinema; American Studies Senior Seminar; Art Worlds: Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives

Graduate: Sociology of Art, Self in Society, Contemporary Sociological Theory, Art Worlds and Urban Environments

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