University of Minnesota
American Studies

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Sarah M Atwood-Hoffman

American Studies 104 Scott Hall 72 Pleasant Street SE

Department Affiliations


Sarah's research explores how secondhand clothing has been circulated and consumed during the late 19th through 20th century. She is especially interested in the diverse ways that used clothes have been used to perform identity (class, race, gender, and sexuality). More broadly, her research interests include consumerism, popular culture, dress history, women's history, material culture, and public history. Sarah's service has included co-director of Imagining America's Publicly Engaged Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellows, co-leading the Heritage Studies and Public History Graduate Group, and Graduate Advisor for the American Studies Student Association. She currently serves on the Mid-America American Studies Association board and is the Regional Representative to the American Studies Association. Sarah has worked with the Minnesota Historical Society's recently created Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement as well as with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Most recently, she co-curated “A Campus Divided: Progressives, Anticommunists, Racism and Antisemitism at the University of Minnesota 1930-1942” with Prof. Emerita Riv-Ellen Prell.


  • popular culture
  • dress history
  • consumption and consumerism
  • gender and sexuality
  • public history

Educational Background

  • M.A.: American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
  • B.A.: Philosophy and Religion, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Research Activities

  • "Appalling Garbage or Appealing Style: Fashion and American Identities in the 1960s and 70s": Paper presented as part of the "American Pickers: American Studies and Material Culture" at the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (coinciding with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences), June 2015
  • "Beyond Bell-Bottoms: Exploring Dress History in the American Studies Classroom": Paper presented as part of the "Teaching Fashion History: Pedagogy and Practice" panel at the Costume Society of America Annual Symposium, May 2015
  • "Subverting Comfort: Guantánamo in the Cultural Imagination": Paper on a collaborative Guantánamo Public Memory Project presented as part of the "Considering Comfort: Gauging Audience Reactions to Difficult Histories" Roundtable at the National Conference on Public History, April 2015

Professional Activities

  • Imagining America PAGE Co-Director: 2016 - Present
  • Mid-America American Studies Association Graduate Student Representative: Fall 2015 - present
  • Advisor, American Studies Student Group: 2014 - 2016
  • Co-leader, Heritage Studies and Public History Graduate Group: 2014 - 2015
  • Minnesota Historical Society Diversity Fellow: May - December 2014


  • Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellow, 2015 - 16
  • Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Fellow, 2015
  • Audrey Christensen Graduate Library Development Award, 2015 - 16
  • Mulford Q. Sibley Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014
  • Mulford Q. Sibley Graduate Research Fellowship, 2013
  • Michael Lenz Award for Non-traditional Research, UMB, 2011

Courses Taught

  • AMST / GLBT: Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in America, Instructor
  • AMST: The United States After September 11th, Instructor
  • AMST: Migrants, Refugees, Citizens, and Exiles: The US on an Immigrant Planet, Instructor
  • GWSS: Screening Sex: Visual and Popular Culture, Instructor
  • GWSS: The Politics of Sex, Instructor
  • AMST: Popular Culture & Politics, 1940-Present, TA & Sections
  • AMST: Popular Culture & Politics, 1900 - 1940, TA & Sections
  • AMST: The US Since 9/11, TA
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