Mary Mussman researches queer and trans literary history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their dissertation, “Intimate Reading: Femininity, Sexuality, and Literary Subcultures of Britain and France,” examines literary practices—euphemisms, allusions, elisions—used to index queer sexuality in the writings of French and British writers from the Victorian to the Modernist periods. These literary practices, they argue, resulted in the emergence of certain “feminine” qualities that came to signify the pleasure of queer sexual practices across genders. Mary holds an M.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UC Berkeley (2020) and a B.A. in Literature from Yale (2015), and has also studied at l'École Normale Supérieure de Paris and l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris-IV).
From 2021–2023, Mary was a Program Associate at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, where they oversaw the Bear's-Eye View blog and the Course Threads certificate program, and assisted with the Honors Thesis Workshop. From 2020–2021, they served as the editorial assistant at Representations, where they curated the Virtual Issue "Unfixing Gender Studies."
With Margaret Speer, Mary is the guest editor of the summer 2023 issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, “Writing Aslant: Voicing across Genders in Nineteenth-Century Literature.”