She specializes in utopian literature and theory from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Her most recent monograph is Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions (Cambridge UP, 2013). She has published dozens of articles in Feminist Studies, Utopian Studies, Contemporary Women's Writing, Nineteenth-Century Literature, The Journal for French and Francophone Philosophy, and others.
Wagner-Lawlor is currently writing a book on plasticity in relation to theories of utopia and hospitality. She is writing and publishing artwork created from plastic detritus and is a frequent blogger for the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of individuals, policy-makers, research institutes, and organizations working to reduce the impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and on human health.