Connor Spencer

Connor Spencer

Research Interests


My research engages with queer and trans studies, Marxist cultural criticism, and aesthetic theory to examine the formation of sexual subjects from the late 19th century to the present in North America and western Europe. I am curious about the rhetorics of figuration that undergird literary “character” and the reified social “types” of particular historical conjunctures, such as the invert, bachelor, or fairy. I am also interested in how underground queer cultural production might disturb the allocations of value coordinated by taxonomic and classificatory organizations of knowledge. More broadly, I have intellectual interests in the history of the novel, archives, photography, film, queer of color critique, critical theory (especially the Frankfurt School), and contemporary art. My art criticism can be found in esse arts + opinions.

At Columbia, I am pursuing a graduate certificate from the Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender, and I co-convene the Trans and Queer Theory Colloquium in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Previously, I was the Curatorial Assistant for the Amiri Baraka Papers at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and wrote the research guide for a series of newly acquired audio/visual materials. I am currently the graduate coordinator for the University Seminar in Literary Theory.

I received my B.A. in English and American Literature from New York University. Before I began graduate school, I enjoyed five years of teaching English at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn.