About Me

Areas of Interest/Research

I’m a cultural and literary historian who focuses on gender and popular cultures in the 20th-century United States. I was trained in the historical study of popular media forms, and in graduate school developed a side interest in the culture of addiction and recovery. I combined these two interests in my first book, The Language of the Heart: 12-Step Recovery from AA to Oprah Winfrey (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). That book examines both the “bibliotherapeutic” dimensions of Alcoholics Anonymous, whose foundational texts were written and read almost exclusively by white me), and the recovery literature written by women and minority authors connected to AA’s many offshoots. My anthology Re-Thinking Therapeutic Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015, co-edited with my friend Tim Aubry) extends my work on popular self-help and other “mental hygiene” movements; I blog on these topics (among others) at Points: the Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.  My current project is a long-overdue history of feminist responses to drug-using women.


PhD, Yale University, American Studies, 1998
MA, Bread Loaf School of English, 1995
BA, New York University, Gallatin Division, 1987

Contact Information (email is always the best way to contact me)

Office: 305 Ustler Hall           Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2-4 pm and by appointment
Email: ttravis@ufl.edu           Phone: (352) 273-0393

Mailing address:

Trysh Travis, Associate Professor
Waldo W. Neikirk Term Professor
Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research
University of Florida, Box 117352
Gainesville, FL32611-7352