Nicholas Syrett joined the faculty in 2006 and is currently an associate professor and the Department’s graduate coordinator. Syrett earned his A.B. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Columbia University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. He is interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and childhood in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently writing a book (to be published by the University of North Carolina Press) on the history of minors, marriage, and the regulation of youthful sexuality in the United States. Articles from this research appear in the anthology Childhood and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (ed. James Marten, NYU Press) and in the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, the latter of which won the 2014 Fass-Sandin Article Prize from the Society for the History of Children and Youth. He is also co-editing (with Corinne T. Field) a collection of essays on the significance of chronological age in American history, Age in America: Colonial Era to the Present, forthcoming from New York University Press in 2015.
His book, The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities, was published in 2009. It examines the construction of masculinity and heterosexuality in traditionally white fraternities from their founding in 1825 through the late twentieth century. Syrett has published articles on early to mid-twentieth-century queer history in American Studies, Genders, GLQ, the Pacific Historical Review, and the Journal of the History of Sexuality, the latter of which was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2014 Audre Lorde Prize for the best article published on LGBT history in the prior two years. He has also written essays on teaching published in Clio in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching U.S. Women’s History (Oxford University Press) and Understanding and Teaching U.S. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender History (University of Wisconsin Press).
He has been interviewed about his research by Inside Higher Ed, Newsweek, Out, Bloomberg News, The Atlantic, The State of Things (WUNC-North Carolina), The Current (CBC-Canada), BackStory, The Morning Shift (WBEZ-Chicago), Times Higher Education (U.K.), and various local and college newspapers. He has also published pieces in theNew York Times and American Sexuality. In 2010-2011 he was given the first annual Diversity in the Classroom award by UNC’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Outstanding Supportive Faculty Member Award by UNC’s GLBTA Resource Center. In 2012-13, he was named the College Scholar for Humanities and Social Sciences at UNC.
Dr. Syrett offers the following classes at UNC:
- HIST 101: Survey of American History from 1877 to the Present
- HIST 290: American Immigration
- HIST 323: Marriage and Family in the United States
- HIST 326: Sex and Sexuality in the United States
- HIST 347: United States Women’s History to 1877
- HIST 348: United States Women’s History since 1877
- HIST 430: American Queer History
- HIST 480: Children and Childhood
- HIST 480: Gender, Race, and Crime
- HIST 530: Slavery in America
- HIST 530: Graduate Seminar on Gender in American History
- HIST 600: Historiography