Aaron S. Lecklider

Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

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About Aaron

Lecklider is an interdisciplinary scholar working in American Studies, particularly interested in issues of higher education, income inequality, radical social movements, cultural politics, and the politics of sexuality in the United States. He has particular expertise in two specific subjects: anti-intellectualism and brainpower in the United States and the relationship between LGBT identities and American political history.


Are Americans Really Anti-Intellectual?

In the News

Aaron S. Lecklider quoted on university debt by Gintautas Dumcius, "Mass. AG Healey Says Mount Ida/UMass Deal Can be 'distressing' for Students" Boston Business Journal, April 9, 2018.
"Donald Trump Says He Loves the Poorly Educated. We Should Too.," Aaron S. Lecklider, Huffington Post, February 26, 2016.
"What We Talk about When We Talk about Sending Our Kids to the Ivies," Aaron S. Lecklider, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 1, 2014.
Guest to discuss his new book on WUMB’s Commonwealth Journal, Aaron S. Lecklider, March 23, 2013.


Inventing the Egghead: The Battle over Brainpower in American Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).
Narrates how Americans who were not part of the traditional intellectual class negotiated the complicated politics of intelligence within an accelerating mass culture.
"Tsiang’s Proletarian Burlesque: Performance and Perversion in The Hanging on Union Square" MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 36, no. 4 (2011): 87-114.
Explores the concept of “anti-intellectualism” and knowledge in relation to class in American culture.
"Inventing the Egghead: The Cultural Politics of Brainpower in the Cold War United States" Journal of American Studies 45, no. 2 (2011): 245-265.
Explores the concept of “anti-intellectualism” and knowledge in relation to class in American culture.
"“Between Decadence and Denial: Two Studies in Gay Male Politics and 1980s Pop Music" Journal of Popular Music Studies 16, no. 2 (2004): 111-146.
Offers a counterhistory of 1980s pop music that places dance-oriented music at the center of what counts as politics in this moment.