Willa Hammitt Brown






Willa Hammitt Brown is a Preceptor in Expository Writing at Harvard University. In 2017 she received her PhD from the University of Virginia and is currently turning her dissertation, "Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth, and the American Lumberjack, 1860-1920," into a book manuscript. She is a columnist and podcast host for Off Assignment, and has appeared on NPR, the CBC and




PhD, History University of Virginia, 2017                              Charlottesville, VA

Dissertation: “Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth and the American Lumberjack, 1860-1920.”

(Thesis Advisor: Elizabeth Varon) 

Examination Fields: US History 1500-1865, US History 1865 – Present, International Comparative Gender History (Minor Field), Nineteenth Century American Cultural History (Special Field) 


Master of Arts, History University of Virginia, 2011                    Charlottesville, VA 

Thesis: “Settlers, Subjects and Citizens: meanings of Citizenship in the Northwest Territory”

(Director: Peter S. Onuf) 


Bachelor of Arts, History Oxford University, 2008                                Oxford, UK

Thesis: “The Culture of the Lake State Lumberjacks 1880 – 1915”




Review of Daughters of Israel, Daughters of the South by Jennifer A Stollman, American Jewish History, January, 2014. 

"Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents" - Atlantic online, December 2014. 

''Dishonor Code: Rape, Reputation and Repercussion at the University of Virginia," Quite Irregular, 23 November 2014, <>



Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth and the American Lumberjack (Book manuscript in progress, submitting winter, 2017)

“Thirty Miles to Town: itinerancy and the culture of resistance among Northwoods lumberjacks, 1880-1900” (article in progress, submitting Spring 2018)



“’Half man, half wildcat’: Itinerancy and the myth of frontier manhood,” American Society for Environmental History Conference, Riverside, CA, March 2018 (Paper accepted)

"The Lumbersexual," Department of Religion and Culture Lecture Series, Virginia Tech, Fall 2015

“Rebels, Remingtons and Vishnu Tattoos: Race, History and the Middle Class Search for Authenticity,” Summer Tits Arts Workshop, Woodstock, VT, August 2015

"From Him Unto Whom Much Has Been Given: A Brief History of the Use (and Mis-Use) of Privilege," Explorers Seminar, MV Explorer, Spring 2015. 

“Grey Flannel Suits and Red Leather Jackets: Masculinity in 1950s Film & Television,” lecture, Spring 2012

“’If the great battle is to be fought in the Valley of the Mississippi’ : Lyman Beecher, Theodore Weld, 

and the Fate of the West, 1830-1834.” Early American Seminar, University of Virginia, 21 February 2012 

“The Cult of True Womanhood in the West, 1790-1850.” Guest Lecture for HIUS 3611, Fall 2011 



Preceptor in Expository Writing, Harvard University

Expository Writing 20: Respectable Ladies, Rebellious Women: Harvard University, 2017

Expository Writing 20: Inventing the Wild West: Harvard University, 2015-2017



Teaching Assistant, Semester at Sea

Introduction to AnthropologyProfessor Caleb Everett, Spring 2015

World Mythologies, Professor Hugh Flick, Spring 2015


Teaching Assistant, University of Virginia

Introduction to Gender Studies: University of Virginia, Lecturer Cori Field, Fall 2014 (3 sections) 

Gender in America, 1865 - Present: University of Virginia, Lecturer Cori Field, Spring 2014 (3 sections)

American Cultural and Intellectual History: University of Virginia, Professor Elizabeth Varon, Spring 2012 (3 sections)

Women in America, 1865 - Present: University of Virginia, Lecturer Cori Field, Spring 2012 (3 sections)

Viewing America: University of Virginia, Professor Brian Balogh, Fall 2011 (3 sections)

Women in America, 1865 – Present: University of Virginia, Lecturer Cori Field, Spring 2011 (3 sections)

Women in America, 1605 – 1865: University of Virginia, Lecturer Cori Field, Fall 2010 (3 sections)


Honors and Awards

Certificate of Excellence, Harvard University, Spring and Fall, 2016 and Spring, 2017

Graduate Teaching Award, Honorable Mention, 2011 



Boston by Foot: docent and guide at a historical and architectural education non-profit, 2017

Essays in History: Book Reviews Editor, 2011-2012

Graduate History Student Association: President, 2010-2011

Corcoran Department of History Accepted Students Weekend: Logistics Coordinator, 2011

New Students Mentoring  Program: Coordinator, 2010, 2011

University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Council: Corcoran Department of

History Representative, 2010-2011