• 31 Jan 2022 6:00 AM | Hope Shannon

    Dear Colleagues:

    We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the New Year.  

    As your new president and president-elect, effective January 1, 2022, we are writing to thank you for your membership and contributions to the work of the Urban History Association (UHA), bring you up-to-date on the status of the organization, and highlight a few upcoming plans moving forward.   

    First and foremost, we thank outgoing UHA president Heather Ann Thompson, whose term ended on December 31, and executive director Hope Shannon for their stellar and steady leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Due to their energetic and creative work, we are happy to report that the UHA is on a sound footing, financially and programmatically.  

    Under the impact of the global health crisis, the UHA took a number of difficult but necessary steps to sustain its service to its membership and the wider public. Specifically, we cancelled our in-person biennial conference; launched a series of innovative online events, programs, and services; and instituted a short-term reduction in membership dues. These actions posed significant financial challenges to the operating budget, but also greatly accelerated one of the organization’s primary goals, set about three years ago, to diversify its membership, enhance the benefits of UHA membership, and better promote the work of its members both within the discipline and to the more general public.       

    Perhaps most important, during the pandemic, the UHA’s popular blog, The Metropole, emerged at the center of the organization’s efforts to sustain and strengthen connections between members, build community, and advance scholarship. Launched in 2017 under the leadership of Avigail Oren and Ryan Reft, The Metropole is helping to bridge the discipline and the larger public through its innovative and timely publications. The Metropole's activities have also included important online discussions about race and policing, which took place in the wake of the widespread protests following the murder of George Floyd.  

    The UHA has also deepened its online initiatives in an effort to offset the pandemic’s impact on in-person gatherings. In April 2021, we organized a special online roundtable, "Urban Public Health and the Fight Against Lead Poisoning: Implications for the Age of the Coronavirus,” in partnership with the American Society of Environmental History. Then, in October, we launched Urban History Month, a month-long series of (mostly) online events organized and hosted by urban historians interested in exploring topics of relevance to urban history. Urban History Month events attracted more than 400 attendees to a wide variety of programs, panels, and outstanding plenary sessions, most notably “The State of the American City: Problems and Possibilities” and “The State of the Global City: Problems and Possibilities.” A select number of these events were recorded and can be accessed on the UHA’s YouTube channel

    The UHA has also been working to address the issue of volunteerism, labor, and pay for the key personnel charged with implementing the work of the organization. Consequently, over the past few years the UHA approved small stipends for the executive director, The Metropole blog’s senior co-editors, and an operations assistant (supported by a special grant), all heretofore unpaid positions. Still, existing compensation for the staff remains insufficient to sustain the organization’s rising level of commitments to its membership and the wider public, which brings us to the question of next steps for the UHA in the years ahead.  

    Four issues loom large in the work of the UHA as the New Year gets underway. First, the organization has submitted a proposal to the AHA-NEH grants program “to sustain and advance the work of historical organizations” with annual budgets under $750,000. If awarded, the UHA will use the grant to fund the executive director, The Metropole’s large editorial team, and operations assistant at levels commensurate with the work of each. 

    Second, with or without AHA-NEH support, we plan to launch a vigorous fund-raising campaign to increase and sustain the stipends/salaries of our staff moving forward. UHA staff and officers are currently exploring a variety of ideas for advancing this financial initiative, including legacy gifts, special annual appeals for support, and UHA merchandise sales.  

    Third and finally, the UHA is hard at work planning our next biennial conference for Pittsburgh in October 2023 (precise dates to be determined). This will be our first onsite meeting since the 2018 gathering in Columbia, South Carolina, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of our planned 2020 conference in Detroit.  

    The Pittsburgh conference will coincide closely with ongoing debates about the future of democracy and social justice in the United States and around the world; the impending 2024 presidential campaign; and the 21st anniversary of the Pittsburgh launch of the UHA’s Biennial Conference in 2002. The 2023 Biennial Meeting will also give us an opportunity to showcase the achievements of the organization, the city of Pittsburgh, and, among other things, highlight the distinguished careers of some of our most esteemed members and colleagues, including Joel Tarr, Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy and a past president of the organization, who will retire from Carnegie Mellon University in 2022. Equally and perhaps most important, this convention will enable us to bring forward a fresh new generation of urban historians, urbanists, social service providers, activists, city planners, and policy makers to the attention of the broader public. We will be calling upon all our members to help make this biennial event a success. 

    In the meantime, thank you again for your membership and ongoing support of the UHA. We are looking forward to working with you over the next several years.  


    Joe William Trotter, Jr., UHA President

    Andrew Sandoval-Strausz, UHA President Elect

  • 04 Jan 2022 5:45 PM | Hope Shannon

    From the Urban History journal:

    Save the date:

    Urban History Journal 50th Anniversary Conference

    The State of Urban History: Past, Present, Future

    University of Leicester, 11-13 July 2023

    In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Urban History journal invites participants to a conference assessing the State of Urban History: Past, Present, Future. From its origins with the work of H.J. Dyos and the founding of the British Urban History Group, the Urban History journal has been at the forefront of historical scholarship on the urban experience. The goal of this anniversary conference is to take stock of urban history as a discipline, its current theoretical underpinnings, methodologies and practices, and consider its future goals and impact on the production of historical knowledge. Our hope is to spark a spirited debate on the concepts and approaches that inform urban histories and to reflect on new horizons for historical research on the urban condition.

    The CALL FOR PAPERS will open in Spring 2022. We invite interventions that engage critically with the field of urban history across geography and time periods. We welcome reflections on theory and methodologies, and on new sources and formats for historical research. We invite appraisals of how urban historians can contribute to debates on the many challenges facing towns and cities in the 21st century.

    The organizers welcome a variety of sessions from traditional panels to roundtables, workshops, brainstorming sessions, film and digital presentations. We invite innovative thinking on how urban history is produced and shared as a scholarly endeavor.

    Keynote speakers

    • Lynn Hollen Lees (University of Pennyslvania)
    • Martha Howell (Columbia University)
    • Kennetta Hammond Perry (De Montfort University)
    • Brenda Yeoh (National University of Singapore)

    For more information, click here to contact the journal's editorial board. 

  • 20 Dec 2021 1:04 PM | Allyson Moralez (Administrator)

    As the new year approaches, so does the time of year when we have a slight, yet very exciting, change in leadership at the Urban History Association. This year, we welcome a new president and president-elect, as well as seven new board members, who will replace our outgoing president and the seven board members whose terms expire at the end of this year. Please read on to learn more about the newest members of the UHA’s leadership team. 

    First, please join us in welcoming Joe Trotter as he moves into his new position as UHA President from his previous position as President-Elect.

    Joe William Trotter Jr.

    Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Social Justice, Carnegie Mellon University 

    Joe William Trotter, Jr. is the Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Social Justice and  past History Department Chair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is  also the Director and Founder of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies  and the Economy (CAUSE) and a member of  the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His latest publication is Workers on Arrival: Black  Labor in the Making of America (University of California Press, 2019). Professor Trotter  received his BA degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and his M.A. and Ph.D.  degrees from the University of Minnesota. He is currently working on a study of African  American urban life since the Atlantic slave trade. To learn more about Joe’s work, click here. Joe’s term as president will begin January 1, 2022 and end December 31, 2023.  

    Replacing Joe as President-Elect is Andrew Sandoval-Strausz. 

    Andrew Sandoval-Strausz 

    Associate Professor of History, Pennsylvania State University

    Professor Sandoval-Strausz is an accomplished scholar in the fields of urban, ethnic, and Latinx history. His first book, Hotel. An American History (2007), offered a new lens on the history of American cities, and especially their ability to accommodate travelers and migrants of all sorts. His second, Barrio America (2019) reinterpreted the era of postwar urban decline as one in which, through migration, small-business enterprise, and civic activism, Latinos ‘saved’ the American city. Although his research has focussed on the United States, he has been a leading proponent and exponent of the ‘transnational turn’ in urban history, within and beyond North America. Notably, the collection Making Cities Global (2018), co-edited with Nancy Kwak, makes the case that cities have been vital to the long historical process of globalization and that they should figure prominently in the field of transnational studies. To learn more about Andrew’s work, click here. Andrew’s term as president-elect will begin January 1, 2022 and end on December 31, 2023. He will take office as president January 1, 2024. 

    Finishing her term at the end of December as the UHA President is Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. Heather will remain part of the executive team as Immediate Past President. 

    We will also welcome seven new board members, who will replace seven members of the UHA Board of Directors finishing their three-year terms at the end of December. This coming December 31 - the final day of 2021 - the seven who will finish their board terms are: 

    • Llana Barber, SUNY Old Westbury

    • Dorothee Brantz, Technische Universität Berlin

    • Emily Callaci, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    • Janet Y. Chen, Princeton University

    • Diana J. Montaño, Washington University of St. Louis

    • Ato Quayson, Stanford University

    • James Wolfinger, Illinois State University

    We want to sincerely thank Heather and every one of our outgoing board members for their commitment and service, especially in navigating the challenges posed by the global pandemic over the last year and nine months. 

    Our newest board members, taking office on January 1, 2022 and joining our continuing board members, are:

    Katherine Zubovich, University at Buffalo, SUNY.

    Katherine Zubovich is an Assistant Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Her work focuses on the history of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Her first book, Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin’s Capital, was published in 2020 by Princeton University Press. The book explores the broader social, cultural, and political effects of monumental construction undertaken in the Soviet capital in the 1930s-1950s.

    Matthieu Caron, University of Toronto

    Matthieu Caron is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Toronto. Drawing on the recent ideas in the history of urban governance, sexuality, and labour, his research is examining how the transformation of Montreal during the mid- to late-twentieth century was accomplished by controlling the night. Before moving to the University of Toronto he obtained degrees from McGill University and the Université de Montréal. Since 2017 he has been the Urban History Association’s bibliographer for Canada. He has published in the Urban History Review as well as in Labour/Le Travail and BC Studies.

    Pedro A. Regalado, Harvard University, Stanford University

    Pedro A. Regalado is a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Beginning July 2022, he will be Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. Regalado researches the history of race, immigration, planning, and capitalism in urban America. His book project, Latinx Gotham: Work and the Modern City, examines the history of New York City’s Latinx residents and their efforts to transform city space, politics, and economy. Regalado has been awarded the Michael Katz Award for Best Dissertation from the Urban History Association. He was also a finalist for the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for Best Dissertation from the American Studies Association. Regalado’s work has been featured in the Journal of Urban History, Boston Review, The Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Born in the Dominican Republic, he was raised in New York City’s Washington Heights.

    Tikia K. Hamilton, Loyola University Chicago

    Dr. Tikia K. Hamilton is an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University (2015) and a masters in African American Studies from Columbia University (2004). She attended Dartmouth College for her undergraduate work (1998), where she majored in History under a Mellon Fellowship. She has lengthy experience teaching at the secondary and undergraduate levels and working as an educational consultant. She is currently completing revisions for her first book, entitled Making a Model System: The Battle for Educational Equality in the Nation’s Capital before Brown, which chronicles the various campaigns African Americans waged to obtain equal resources under segregation in the federal city. Her research interests include: African American History, 20th Century U.S. History, African American/U.S. Women’s History, the History of Education, and Urban History. Dr. Hamilton is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Spencer Fellowship from National Academy of Education.  She is a native of Chicago and has travelled solo to over two dozen countries in Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.

    J.T Way, Georgia State University

    J. T. Way lived in Guatemala for ten years prior to joining GSU, working as a University of Arizona faculty affiliate and ultimately directing CIRMA, the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica, a social science archive/research center. His 2021 book, Agrotropolis: Youth, Street, and Nation in the New Urban Guatemala explores the physical and cultural urbanization of space in quintessentially “rural” towns from 1983 to 2012. Centering working-class Maya and mestizo hometowns in planetary urban history, it shows how culturally assertive youth coming of age on the globally inflected city street used popular culture as one means of creating a new national imaginary that rejects Guatemala’s racially coded system of castes. This work follows The Mayan in the Mall: Globalization, Development, and the Making of Modern Guatemala, which maps the history of Guatemala City’s poor neighborhoods from 1920 to the new millennium against national and international development projects, arguing that, far from being chronically underdeveloped, this nation of contrasts—where shantytowns and humble municipal and street markets abut luxurious malls and wealthy neighborhoods—is the embodiment of globalized capitalism and a harbinger of globalization’s future. Way now researches urbanization and violence and serves as an expert witness in asylum hearings.

    Lilia Fernandez, Rutgers University

    Dr. Lilia Fernandez is an Associate Professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies and History at Rutgers University. Her scholarship, most notably her monograph Brown in the Windy City but also in numerous articles and other pieces of work, has offered critical insights for urban historians on Latinx immigration to and experiences within American cities, Chicago in particular. She also serves as the co-editor on the University of Chicago’s “Historical Studies in Urban America” series, and on the board of the Journal of Urban History.

  • 18 Nov 2021 7:42 PM | Hope Shannon

    The Society for American City and Regional Planning History released the call for papers for its 19th National Conference on Planning History, which is scheduled to take place both online and in person in Harlem, NYC in October 2022. The CFP submission deadline is February 15, 2022. 

    For more information and for the full CFP, please visit

  • 08 Nov 2021 12:00 PM | Allyson Moralez (Administrator)

    The UHA Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2021 award contests. This year, we're sharing the news through a special online presentation. Here, we reveal and share more information about our 2021 award winners, as well as revisit our winners from 2020 and 2019. To access the presentation, click here.

    For the best viewing experience, we recommend opening the presentation link using a desktop browser. Once you open the link, click "Get Started" and then scroll down the page. Questions? Email us at

  • 11 Oct 2021 11:47 AM | Costas Spirou

    New Book Series: Higher Education and the City

    A new book series titled Higher Education and the City (Johns Hopkins University Press), is seeking scholarly, book length manuscript submissions, that examine higher education ecosystems from the lens of urban change with an emphasis on the past and future of cities and metropolitan areas.  Relevant cultural and social issues, the pursuit of innovation, and the relationship between higher education, economic and community development, will contribute to ongoing dialogues.  For information on contributing to the series, contact Costas Spirou, Book Series Editor at  Please share the opportunity with any colleagues that might be interested in this initiative.

  • 30 Aug 2021 12:30 PM | Hope Shannon

    Call for participants: LaDale Winling, Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech, will run his online urban history writing workshop again this fall. Once a month, on Fridays from 12 PM to 1 PM Eastern, the workshop reads and comments on a pre-circulated work of urban history in progress. Email or message him on Twitter to submit a piece for consideration. Submissions deadline: rolling.

  • 30 Jul 2021 9:05 AM | Hope Shannon

    The Urban History Association is thrilled to share next steps for Urban History Month– a month-long series of events organized and hosted by urban historians interested in exploring topics of relevance to urban history, broadly defined. Urban History Month events will take place in October 2021.

    To learn more about how you can participate, click here.

  • 26 Jul 2021 5:38 PM | Hope Shannon

    The Living New Deal, a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, has established an annual New Deal Book Award to recognize and encourage non-fiction works about U.S. history in the New Deal era (1933-1942).

    To be eligible, books for the 2021 New Deal Book Award must have a publication date of 2021 and be nominated by a publisher or author colleague. The New Deal Book Award and finalists will be chosen by a distinguished review committee.

    The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2021. The winner will be announced in Spring 2022 and receive a cash prize of $1,000, to be awarded during the Roosevelt Reading Festival at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum at Hyde Park, New York, in summer 2022, to which the five finalists will be invited.

    Submission guidelines and a brief nomination form can be found at the Living New Deal website.

    The Living New Deal began in 2007 as a project of the Geography Department at University of California, Berkeley, mapping the locations of New Deal projects—artworks, libraries, post offices, schools, community centers, airports, roads, bridges, parks and more. In addition to resources about New Deal policies, profiles and achievements, the website features an interactive map and descriptions of more than 17,000 New Deal sites crowdsourced by volunteers who submit their discoveries using the Living New Deal website and a mobile phone app. The website drew more than a million visits last year.

    For more information, contact: Kurt Feichtmeir, Director of Development, The Living New Deal,, (707) 494-8001.

  • 23 Jun 2021 1:00 PM | Anonymous member

    We invite the submission of unpublished and original papers for a special themed issue of the journal Flux that examines the history of non-networked technologies, their role in the supply of urban services (e.g., energy, street lighting water supply, wastewater treatment, food supply…) and their relations to networked systems between the 18th and the 20th centuries.  Papers could explore the role of non-networked technologies and their relation to the emergence of networked technologies in cities in Europe and North America where networked technologies became dominant during that period.

    Privileging a reflective historical approach, contributions will seek to reconstitute the course of diffusion or retraction of off-grid technologies, and their interactions with the development of large technical systems, which is often presented as a coherent and uniform, even hegemonic, process. They may emphasize the inertia (momentum) and the social, technological and/or territorial path dependencies at play; the forms of competition or complementarity and sometimes even symbiosis between networked and off-grid technologies the sociotechnical and urban imaginaries underpinning the observed dynamics; etc.

    More generally, this themed issue will seek to add historical depth and a long-term perspective to the work of urban scholars (geographers, planners, architects, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists…) who have sought to explore, conceptualize and at times anticipate the variegated figures and shapes of the post-networked city. Those researchers have questioned the dominant model –  the modern integrated paradigm of the networked city – by confronting the ideal figure of the homogenous and homogenizing infrastructure to the diverse models of organization, management and servicing of urban spaces that accompany, often facilitate and sometimes indurate socio-spatially differentiated forms of urban development. 

    What were the historical conditions, modalities and spaces of deployment of off-grid devices? Did these technologies generate or facilitate forms of competition between spaces within given urban areas? Did they help maintain pre-existing socio-spatial differentiations? Did organizations in charge of networked and off-grid technologies systematically compete or did they develop links – industrial, commercial, technological, financial, territorial or otherwise? And from a more future-oriented perspective: can Western and other long-industrialized societies emancipate from a historical heritage characterized by the sociotechnical imaginaryof the network, and if so, how? Can they at least deal with its material, social and political ubiquity?

    Flux therefore welcomes submissions to an “alternative history” of urban services (the essential services of everyday life) through the study of the trajectory of off-grid technologies and devices. As with the recent historiography challenging the notion of linear energy transitions, contributions may help question the validity of periodizations based on successive dominant sociotechnical systems and underestimating the importance of “alternative” technologies for the societies concerned.

    Deadline for submission of proposals: October 1, 2021

    Proposals may be submitted in English or French.

    Proposals should be sent to:

    Professors Benjamin Bothereau, Olivier Coutard, and  Joel Tarr

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