Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

  Micki McGee, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Sociology (at Rose Hill)
B.A., M.F.A. University California at San Diego; M.Phil., Ph.D., City University of New York, 2002

Dealy Hall 405C
Bronx, NY  10458-9993
tel: (718) 817-3860
fax: (718) 817-3846
Research Interests
Sociological theory; sociology of art, culture, consumption, media, and mental health.
Micki McGee is a sociologist and cultural critic whose fascination with the American culture of self-improvement led her to spend five years reading and analyzing best-selling self-improvement books, visiting self-help groups and workshops, and talking with self-help readers.

When McGee observed that the number of self-help books in print began to increase in 1972 (and nearly doubled relative to all books in print over the next three decades), she suspected that there was a relationship between the increase in self-help reading and the declining economic circumstances and opportunities for working Americans. Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life (Oxford, 2005) takes up this idea and shows how the rise of makeover culture has left Americans not just overworked, but belabored: constantly at work on themselves, anxious to remain employed and employable.

McGee is currently working on a new project that explores the impact of Yaddo, the renowned artists' and writers' retreat, on 20th century American culture. This research will result in a major exhibition scheduled for October of 2008 at the New York Public Library's Gottesman Hall.

McGee joined the sociology faculty of Fordham University in 2007 and is pursuing research on autism and its social impacts. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. She has also been a resident at the McDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center, as well as a Helena Rubenstein Fellow in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. Her essays and articles have been published in The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Afterimage, Art & Text, High Performance, and Social Text, as well as by the Centre Georges Pompidou and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

For additional information, see Micki McGee's webpage at
Selected Publications
Micki McGee, ed., 2008. Yaddo: Making American Culture. Columbia University Press, New York. (Edited volume with overview essay and extensive historical note)  
Micki McGee, 2005. Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life. Oxford University Press, NY. Paperback edition 2007 from Oxford.

Forthcoming Korean translation from AKOM Publishing, Seoul.




McGee, M., 2008. “Creative Power: Yaddo and the Making of American Culture,” introductory essay for Yaddo: Making American Culture, pp. 1-15. Columbia University Press, New York.

McGee, M., 2008. “Blue Team, Grey Team: The Varieties of Contingent Faculty Experience,” book chapter in The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace, ed. by Monica Krause, Mary Nolan, Michael Palm, and Andrew Ross, pp. 97-112. Temple University Press, Philadelphia.
McGee, M., 2007. "The secret's success." The Nation 284(2)(June 4):4-6.

Courses Taught

Sociological Theory; Sociology of Culture; Popular Culture

Sociology of Art


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