Dr. Janelle Wilson

Professional Title
Professor of Sociology

Janelle L. Wilson is a Professor in the Department of Studies in Justice, Culture, & Social Change at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). She holds a BA from Saginaw Valley State University (Saginaw, MI) and an MA & Ph.D. from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI). Janelle is a micro-level sociologist whose teaching and research interests are best described as focused on the sociology of everyday life.


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Western Michigan University, 1995
  • M.A. in Sociology, Western Michigan University, 1992
  • B.A. in Sociology, Saginaw Valley State University, 1990
  • A.A., Mid Michigan Community College, 1988


Carmen M. Latterell & Janelle L. Wilson. (2020). Mathematical Metaphors, Memories, and Mindsets: An Examination of Personal, Social, and Cultural Influences on the Perception of Mathematics. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

Janelle L. Wilson. (2005). Nostalgia: Sanctuary of Meaning. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press.
Also published digitally (open source) by the University of Minnesota Duluth Library’s Digital Commons (2014):

Select Recent Scholarly Publications

Carmen M. Latterell and Janelle L. Wilson (2022). “Mathematics, mindsets, and what it means to be do-ers of math.” Irish Educational Studies, volume 41 (first published online June 26, 2022).

Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Janelle L. Wilson (2021). “Sociology and nostalgia: Micro-, meso-, and macro-level dimensions of an ambiguous Emotion, pp. 89 – 109 in Intimations of Nostalgia: Multidisciplinary Explorations of an Enduring Emotion, edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen. Bristol: Bristol University Press.

Carmen M. Latterell and Janelle L. Wilson (2020). Mathematical metaphors, memories, and mindsets: An examination of personal, social, and cultural influences on the perception of mathematics. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Janelle L. Wilson (2020). “Future imaginings: Nostalgia for unrealized possible selves,” pp. 66-77 in Nostalgia Now: Cross-Disciplinary Practices on the past in the present, edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge.

Select Recent Essays

Janelle L. Wilson (2022). "Party Like It’s 1999, Again: What Gen Z’s displaced nostalgia for the secade of mixtapes, Friends, and ripped jeans says about us.” Zócalo Public Square: https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2022/02/10/nostalgia-1990s/ideas/essay/

Janelle L. Wilson (March 10, 2016). “Exploring mathematical identities through autobiographies.” Psychology Today (Stories of the Self, blog).

Janelle L. Wilson (September 14, 2015). “Marginality: A key concept revisited.” Psychology Today (Stories of the Self, blog).

Areas of Focus

  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Nostalgia
  • Generational Identity
  • Social Psychology of Emotions and Socialization

Courses Taught Regularly

  • Social Psychology
  • Development of Social Selves
  • Deviance
  • Sociology of Community