Dr. Lucia Hodgson is an independent (unaffiliated) scholar who researches and publishes in nineteenth-century United States literature and culture with a focus on representations of childhood and slavery. She is the co-founder and co-editor with Allison Giffen of Critical Childhood Studies: A Long 19C Digital Humanities Project.
She earned a BA from Yale University, an MA in American Literature from Claremont Graduate University, and a PhD in English from the University of Southern California. She has taught at the University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, California State University, Northridge, and most recently as an assistant professor at Texas A&M University for nine years, where she founded and convened a Critical Childhood Studies working group funded by the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. She currently works as Dean’s Special Initiatives Project Coordinator in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Hodgson is the author of two books: Raised in Captivity: Why Does America Fail Its Children? (Graywolf Press) and “Age of Consent: Slavery, Seduction, and American Girlhood” (under advance contract with SUNY Press). Her essays have appeared in Early American Literature, Studies in American Fiction, Journal of Juvenilia Studies, and The Children’s Table: Childhood Studies and the New Humanities (University of Georgia Press). Prior to her career in academia she worked in public policy at the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University, the Harvard Project on Schooling and Children, and the Los Angeles Roundtable for Children housed in the Sociology Department at the University of Southern California, during which time she wrote Raised in Captivity: Why Does America Fail Its Children? (Graywolf Press).
In summer 2021, Dr. Hodgson visited her mother in Sweden and embarked on a cultural history of S. M. Swenson and the hundreds of other Swedes from Småland who settled in central Texas from the 1840s to the 1880s. She has been conducting research in the archives at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin and established a website that is in progress (https://newswedenarchive.org/). Dr. Hodgson is a recipient of a 2022-2023 fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation and for the duration of the fellowship she will be a Guest Researcher at the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Linnaeus University and a Visiting Researcher at the Swedish Emigrant Institute at Kulturparken Småland in Växjö, Sweden.