Kess Carpenter

PhD candidate

Kess Carpenter

Pronouns: they/them

Home University: Wilfrid Laurier University


Education: BA (Hons) History, Windsor; MA, History, Windsor

Research Fields: Cold War Era, Gender, Culture

Supervisor: David Monod

Originally from Windsor, ON, Kess is a PhD Candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. Kess received their BA and MA in History from the University of Windsor. Growing up in a border city, Kess has always had an interest in American history and culture. Their MA thesis examined Playboy's significance in the lives of its readers, and in particular, how the magazine influenced male behaviour in courtship.

In the doctoral program, Kess is particularly interested in social, cultural, and gender history. Their research investigates the significance of pornography in culture, and in the lives of those who consumed it, during the Cold War in North America. In particular, Kess' research considers themes of race, class, gender, and sexuality to facilitate an understanding of the pornography's significance in historical contexts. Kess' broader research interests include American history, the history of sexuality, racial history, film, media, music, art, and cultural history. Kess is a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2020-2021, 2021-2022).