Sarah E. Chinn teaches American Literatures and Cultures in the English Department at Hunter College, CUNY.
Her work primarily explores questions of race, sexuality, and gender in U.S. literature and culture, particularly in the 19th century. She teaches a wide range of courses from Nineteenth Century Women Writers to Early American Drama to Literary Theory to Post-1945 Lesbian and Gay Narratives. She is the author of Technology and the Logic of American Racism: A Cultural History of the Body as Evidence (Continuum, 2000), Inventing Modern Adolescence: Children of Immigrants in Turn-of-the-Century America (Rutgers University Press, 2008), and Spectacular Men: Race, Gender, and Nation on the Early American Stage, 1780-1840 (Oxford University Press, 2017), the winner of the 2018 George Freedley Memorial Award for an exemplary work in the field of live theatre or performance, awarded by the Theatre Library Association and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Recently she was awarded the American Literature Society’s 1921 Prize for best article in American literature in 2020. Her most recent manuscript, Amputation Nation: Radicalism, Reconstruction, and Loss, is currently under review.
From 2007 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of CLAGS: A Center for LGBT Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. From 2014 to 2021 she chaired the Hunter College English Department.