Lily Sheehan’s research and teaching interests are in late-nineteenth and twentieth century American and British literatures, visual and material culture, fashion theory, periodical studies, affect studies, studies of race and ethnicity, and feminist theory. Her current project explores the interdependence of twentieth century literary cultures and the pursuit of peace as an aesthetic, affective, and political phenomenon.
Her previous monograph, Modernism à la Mode: Fashion and the Ends of Literature (Cornell University Press 2018), argues that fashion describes the limits and possibilities for modernist aesthetic and political transformation, which continue to shape accounts of the uses of literature and literary criticism. Sheehan also co-edited Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion (University of New Hampshire Press 2011), an interdisciplinary collection of essays that explores how fashion shaped ideas and experiences of femininity in Europe and North America from 1850 to 1940. She also has published essays on black internationalism and beauty culture, fashion magazines and periodicity, avant-garde dress design, and writers including Virginia Woolf, Jessie Fauset, and W.E.B. Du Bois in Modern Fiction Studies, the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, and the collections Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939; Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshops; and A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. At OSU, Sheehan is an Associate Professor of English and a core faculty member in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.