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Eric Wycoff Rogers

Research Interests

Broadly, my research looks at the relationships between kinship, gender, sexuality, domesticity and the built environment, and the place of these co-constituted factors in the development and ‘reproduction’ of capitalism. My historical research looks at Progressive era reform and professional organizations in the United States, and investigates the ways that these organizations discursively, materially and socially shaped municipal governance structures, metropolitan organization, households, sexualities and financial infrastructures as a means of regulating—and therefore reproducing—a capitalist economy. That research looked at a variety of organizations, especially focusing on the National Municipal League, the early professionalized city planners, the Better Homes in America campaign, the Social Purity and Social Hygiene movements, and the Federal Housing Administration—each of which played an instrumental role in shaping urban and everyday life. 


Alongside this historical research, here at Cambridge I am investigating how communes and co-living communities have engaged in creating alternatives to the above-listed ‘State-led’ campaigns of social engineering, asking how holistic and complete these alternatives have been compared to the ‘State-led’ campaigns, and what new challenges, opportunities and significances face collective action and shared life in the twenty-first century.


My intellectual/reading interests are very broad, but they include: history of capitalism; Continental theory; feminist and queer theory; gender studies; critical theory; Marxist/post-Marxist political and economic theory; history and theory of architecture; architectural and spatial theory; history of sexuality; history of artificial environments; analysis of power and hierarchy; cultural studies; media theory; intellectual history more generally; conviviality studies; history of science and technology, among others.


If you are interested in setting up a reading/working group on any of these topics, I would be very moved to do so.