Mo Moulton

Colleges, School and Institutes


After studying history at MIT (a surprising but happy choice), I worked in the non-profit sector, mainly on campaign financing, in San Francisco and New York. I earned a PhD, funded in part by the SSRC and a Mellon grant, from Brown University under the supervision of Professor Deborah Cohen. From 2010 to 2016, I taught at Harvard University’s History and Literature program.

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Research interests

Both of my current research areas take the first decades of the twentieth century as a moment of intense experimentation and transformation around ideas of community and identity.

The first, “Democracy and State Direction: Practical Experiments in Political Economy” is about economic citizenship and decolonization. It uses the curious story of ubiquitous agricultural co-operatives in last decades of the British Empire to ask how the co-operative became a method for producing a certain type of economic citizen. Ultimately, it seeks to provide a new framework for understanding how current ideas about international development, including the primacy of the market and the centrality of the individual entrepreneur, came to be enshrined.

The second, a reaction to current debates about the ontology of the couple and queer forms of kinship and family-making, explore the strategies and identities of queer non-monogamy in the 1920s-1940s.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am interested in projects relating to Britain and Ireland, roughly 1890-1950, and connecting to my main areas of research.