Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies


James Wilson

Subject Categories

History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Political History | Social History | United States History | Women's History | Women's Studies


Queer, United States, Roosevelt, Lesbian, Queer History, Lorena Hickok


This thesis explores the life of Lorena Hickok, a remarkable woman whose story has been glossed over throughout history. Hickok was an accomplished journalist and writer, and her life offers a fascinating glimpse into being queer in the early twentieth century. While much has been written about Hickok’s relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, this thesis aims to go beyond their connection to examine Hickok’s entire life and experiences in greater detail. Through analyzing her work as a writer, as well as her personal correspondence and unpublished autobiography, this thesis illuminates the quiet details of defining moments in history, including the Great Depression and World War II. At the same time, this thesis also explores the complexities of Hickok’s queer identity. By exploring the evidence Hickok left in her writings, this thesis offers insight into the life of a queer individual during the twentieth century. This thesis argues that by examining the life of Lorena Hickok, we can gain a deeper understanding of life during the twentieth century. At the same time, we can also shed light on the struggles and triumphs of queer individuals during this era. By exploring Hickok’s life in all of its complexity, this thesis offers a fresh perspective on a woman whose contributions to history have often been overlooked.