• 13 Oct 2020 5:04 PM | Anonymous

    CHICAGO URBAN HISTORY SEMINARS: 2020–21  --  Chicago History Museum

    Until the COVID-19 pandemic abates, UHS sessions will convene remotely via Zoom. Programs are on select Thursdays. The Zoom session will open at 6:45pm, our program will start at 7:00 pm, and it will conclude by 8:15 pm. Sessions are without charge but contributions in any amount to the Chicago History Museum would be most welcomed. A Zoom link will be provided upon registering in advance for each session.

    To receive monthly email announcements about UHS seminars, please contact Audrey Womack at

    Seminar Schedule:

    September 24, 2020
    Colin Gordon
    University of Iowa
    "Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs"

    October 29, 2020
    Erik S. Gellman
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    "Urban Spaces and Democratic Protest in Postwar Chicago: Historicizing the Street Photography of Art Shay"

    November 19, 2020
    Deborah Kanter
    Albion College
    "Chicago Católico: Making/Unmaking Mexican Parishes"

    January 14, 2021
    Carl S. Smith
    Northwestern University
    "The Elusiveness of History: Responding Again to the Great Chicago Fire"

    February 18, 2021
    Ward Miller
    Preservation Chicago
    "Revisioning Historic Preservation Chicago in the Twenty-First Century"

    March 18, 2021
    Douglas Flowe
    Washington University in St. Louis
    "Uncontrollable Blackness"

    April 8, 2021
    Pedro A. Regalado
    Harvard University
    "Latinx New York: Work and the Origins of the Modern City"

    May 13, 2021
    Lilia Fernández
    Rutgers University
    "Laboring in the Industrial Chicago: Latino Workers in the Age of Manufacturing Flight"

    Michael H. Ebner, Lake Forest College
    Ann Durkin Keating, North Central College
    D. Bradford Hunt, Loyola University Chicago
    Peter T. Alter, Chicago History Museum


    We encourage expressions of interest—from historians early in their careers as well as more senior scholars—who might wish to make a presentation during 2021–22. We prefer that our speakers discuss works in progress rather than a book or article already published.

    For more information, please contact Peter T. Alter at

    Chicago History Museum • 1601 North Clark Street • Chicago, Illinois 60614 •

  • 27 Jul 2020 10:03 AM | Anonymous member

    David P. Schuyler

    David P. Schuyler, one of the foremost experts on the creation New York’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the history of the urban parks movement, died on 24 July 2020 after suffering an aneurysm in his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Schuyler had been a member of the Urban History Association since its founding in 1989.

    Schuyler wrote and edited ten books and numerous articles, the most influential being The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (1986) and four volumes of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, which were published over the course of Schuyler’s career. His Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815-1852 (1996) is generally considered the definitive work on one of the founders of landscape architecture in the United States. Schuyler’s publications were the recipients of numerous awards, including the Richard B. Morris Prize 1979 (for the best dissertation at Columbia University), the Dixon Ryan Fox Prize of the New York State Historical Association in 2011 (for the best book manuscript on New York state history), the Victorian Society’s Ruth Emery Award in 2013 (for the best book on American regional history), and the Herbert Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History in 2014.

    Schuyler served in multiple capacities on editorial boards of a variety of publications, including the Journal of Planning History, the Hudson River Valley Review, the Frederick Law Olmstead Papers, and the North American Landscape series at The Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Schuyler was also a prominent public historian, particularly in regards to historic preservation and Hudson River valley environmental protection. He was an outspoken advocate of preserving what he called the “tangible remains of the past,” exemplified by his service on behalf of the Olana Historic Site, originally the home of the landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church. In 2018, Schuyler was rewarded for his service with the Olana Partnership’s Frederic Church Award for outstanding contributions to American culture. Schuyler was also an energetic board member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Board, and the New York Academy of History. From 1997 to 1999, he was the elected president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH).

    Schuyler was born in Albany, New York, on 9 April 1950 and grew up in Newburgh, New York. He taught at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., for nearly his entire career, beginning in 1979 and shortly after completing his Ph.D. at Columbia University where he studied under the tutelage of Kenneth T. Jackson and Eric McKitrick. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from American University and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, respectively. At his death, he was the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies.  

    Colleagues and students at Franklin & Marshall recognized Schuyler as a devoted and dynamic teacher, known for his popular seminars in urban, environmental, and local history in which he integrated his original and sometimes path-breaking research. Schuyler envisioned the role of the historian to be a seamless balance between teaching and writing. A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940-1980 (2002) and a book on the revitalization or gentrification of Lancaster since 1980, which he was writing at the time of this death, were by-products of Schuyler’s work in the classroom, as were his most recent books Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1902 (2012) and Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism (2018). In these classes and books, Schuyler uncovered the mutually-shared beliefs and environmental interests of such disparate writers and artists such as Thomas Cole, Washington Irving, and Andrew Jackson Downing, all of whom transformed the public perception of the Hudson River Valley and ideas about the New York landscape. In recent years, Schuyler’s students produced innovative digital projects on the history of Lancaster. Schuyler’s teaching was recognized not only at Franklin & Marshall where he was the recipient of the Bradley R. Dewey Award (2003), but also with teaching awards from the Mary F. Lindbeck Foundation (1994) and the Lawrence C. Gerkens Award from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (2003). 

    Schuyler was preceded in death by his wife Marsha Sener Schuyler (2002), his mother Ruth Calyer, his father John Barry Schuyler, and his stepfather Gordon Cote. He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Sener Schuyler of Lancaster, nine sisters and brothers, fifteen nieces and nephews, thirteen grand nieces and nephews and numerous cousins. Among urban historians, and especially once-younger members of the UHA and SACRPH, Schuyler was known for his generosity of time, personal support for young scholars facing professional challenges, and an all-too-uncommon willingness to read, edit, and comment on the manuscripts of others. He was a model of selflessness to the multiple communities of which he was a part. David Schuyler’s sense of humor, warm friendship, and enduring fellowship will be sorely missed by those of us who had the privilege to know him.

    Timothy Gilfoyle

    Loyola University Chicago

  • 26 Jun 2020 8:10 AM | Anonymous member

    Although the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade triggered a recent wave of Black-led urban uprisings against racist police brutality, these uprisings, and the police repression that has been unleashed in response, are not unique to this moment. Drawing on a long legacy of abolitionist thought, the uprisings have also helped to amplify a robust conversation about defunding and abolishing police. This has led many scholars and activists working in policing to articulate the historic futility of reform and find inspiration from the past on non-punitive ways of organizing society.

    The series is free and open to all. Each roundtable will be virtual and live-streamed on YouTube, and the link to each will be shared in advance.  You can watch the first panel featuring historians Ashley Howard, Toussaint Losier, Simon Balto, and Anne Gray Fischer live, July 1 at 8:00 pm EST:

    The Metropole (2)

  • 12 Jun 2020 11:46 AM | Anonymous member

    As conferences have been cancelled this year, the editorial team at the journal Urban History (Cambridge UP) has organized a series of seminars (online lectures and discussions), to help keep us in touch with one another and our research, and to give mainly younger scholars feedback on their work. 

    Please see below for the schedule and the abstract and Eventbrite invitation for the first talk.   

    26th June 2020, 3pm GMT

    Anneleen Arnout (Radboud University) – ‘Who owns the square? Emotional interaction on Amsterdam’s Dam square (1850-1930)’

    Scholars have long been convinced that the nineteenth century was a turning point in the history of public space, its primary function supposedly shifting towards circulatory purposes rather than social gathering. This shift expressed itself in intense regulation reducing the number of activities allowed on streets and squares and thereby limiting certain people’s right to that space. The main problem with this scholarship is that it is mostly based on governmental sources. In this paper, the focus will shift to non-governmental sources to uncover the different conflicting and complementary social and emotional practices performed by different groups of people on Amsterdam’s squares in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and the ways in which they regulated a sense of ownership.


    Urban History summer seminar series - Schedule

    26th June 2020, 3pm GMT

    Anneleen Arnout (Radboud University) – ‘Who owns the square? Emotional interaction on Amsterdam’s Dam square (1850-1930)’

    17th July 2020, 11am GMT

    James Lesh (University of Melbourne) – ‘Questioning the consensus? Heritage conservation in 1990s Sydney and Melbourne’

    31st July 2020, 3pm GMT

    Taylor Zaneri (University of Amsterdam) – Title TBC

    28th August 2020, 3pm GMT

    Laura Vaughan and Sam Griffiths (University College London) – Title TBC

  • 05 Jun 2020 7:32 PM | Anonymous


    George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer was a horrifying illustration of the pattern of deadly police violence against Black people. In a widely circulated video, the world watched him plead for air, and witnessed the brutal indifference of the officer kneeling on his neck. Like the killing of Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, and Tamir Rice, to "say their names" for just a few, the death of George Floyd touched countless people who never knew him in life.

    In recent years, technology and social media have circulated evidence of police brutality and other acts of anti-Black violence, such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, at an unprecedented pace. This barrage of documentation serves as a call to action, but – like the postcards and souvenirs of lynchings that circulated during the Jim Crow era – it also serves to terrorize. Many Black people watching these videos are compelled to reckon repeatedly with the racist contempt that still pervades this country, and the reality that Black lives are subject to the conduct of arbitrary and capricious agents of state violence. Even when officers behave professionally, they act in service to an unjust legal system that disproportionately criminalizes and cages Black people. The videos have resonated fearfully with immigrant and Latinx communities as well, who must reckon with the power of the police and ICE to tear apart families and end life as they know it in this country. For many people of color, these have been days of sickening heartache.

    In response to George Floyd's murder, hundreds of thousands of people have poured into the streets to demonstrate in over 140 locations across the country and abroad. The sheer scale of these protests is shocking, paralyzing cities through massive rallies, civil disobedience, and rage-filled confrontations with the police. The civil unrest reflects anger that has been building for a long time, as well as an economic desperation that has only been exacerbated by the crisis of COVID-19. The study of urban history reminds us that these types of uprisings occur when grievous wrongs have already been endured for too long. They reflect a deep disillusion with systems of governance, a sense among the oppressed that there are no meaningful allies among those in power. As Martin Luther King, Jr. cautioned in 1967:

    A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. …  And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

    The protests – peaceful and otherwise – that have rocked our nation for the past week are an indictment of the racism that remains endemic to our society in spite of centuries of activism by African Americans and allies. They are an indictment of police abuse, mass incarceration, and the persistent failure of our legal system to discipline officers for misconduct. They are a vehement assertion that Black lives matter, a refusal to be intimidated by racist violence, and a vibrant, ringing reminder of our collective strength. 

    The UHA Board of Directors stands in solidarity with protesters demanding police accountability and denouncing racism. We support all those who envision and work towards a more just future. We encourage anyone searching for historical context for these protests to read Elizabeth Hinton and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's excellent analysis, to visit the UHA's blog The Metropole, and to follow the UHA Twitter account as they post and retweet relevant material. 

    May all of our loved ones come home safely. In solidarity,

    Board of Directors 
    Urban History Association

    A full list of UHA officers and directors can be found here.  

  • 05 Dec 2019 9:56 PM | Anonymous

    The Center for 21st Century Studies, UW-Milwaukee

    The Center for 21st Century Studies and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will host this year’s annual conference, "#ALT-MKE" on April 30-May 2, 2020Confirmed plenary speakers for the conference are: Dasha Kelly Hamilton (Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate), Brian Larkin (Barnard College/Columbia University), Monique Liston (Ubuntu Research), Rick Lowe(University of Houston), AbdouMaliq Simone (University of Sheffield) and Fatima El-Tayeb (University of California, San Diego).

    Please refer to a description of the conference theme and the call for proposals below.

    Conference Description

    In July 2020, the City of Milwaukee will host the Democratic National Convention where leaders will gather to nominate a presidential candidate and to ratify a platform with national and global agendas. The DNC chose Milwaukee because it sees Wisconsin as emblematic of the key Midwestern and post-industrial states that the Democrats must win to retake the presidency. In turn, Milwaukee sought to host the Democratic Convention as an opportunity to remake its image as a thriving, multicultural city.

    During the DNC, predictable narratives will be trotted out about Milwaukee: of segregation, crime, poverty, and blight, alongside those championing a resurgent economy and new forms of capitalist urban development. The DNC marks a supposedly transformational moment from which new solutions will emerge. But the narratives of blight and rebirth–articulated not only by political leaders but often by academics as well–often reify what they are intended to counteract. The spectacle of the DNC and of its capitalist solutions mask a panoply of more ordinary efforts underway all around us, as movements, activists, and everyday people demand new ways of seeing, organizing, and acting in the world to address the overwhelming crises of the day. Indeed, Milwaukee is like many cities in the US: a babel of ecological, social, and political perspectives, a metropolis at a crossroads of critical thinking, and a place of promise and failure.

    UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies explores these multiple perspectives in its spring 2020 conference, “#ALT-MKE: Finding New Answers in the 21st Century City.”  At this critical juncture, we must rethink our political imaginations and critical engagements. Can Milwaukee, and other urban areas like it, offer novel answers to the intractable problems that confront us?  If the city is an answer, what questions must we ask?

    #ALT-MKE will highlight how the temporality and space of the ordinary city offers new epistemologies and practices that are engaged in the global struggle to combat racialized disinvestment, a fractured body politic, ecological crisis, and urban abandonment. The spectacles offered by the DNC–whether political, mediated, or financial in nature–lead only to institutional inaction and failure, wherein lie opportunities for ongoing forms of resistance to find new and stronger footings.

    From the Situationists and Russian Constructivists, to suffragists, tactical urbanists, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Occupy movement, people have always imagined and sought new ways of life to challenge oppressive structures and violent erasure. Under the increasingly dire pressures of climate crisis, racial capitalism, ongoing settler displacement, destructive national politics, and crushing inequality, the time has come to reclaim our future by reframing these issues through the refocused lens of the 21st century city.

    At the core of this investigation is our focus on reframing cities as political and ideological acts that hold within them normative values of aesthetics, power/resistance, public life, and citizenship. By inviting explorations of critical, decolonial, anti-racist politics, this conference hopes to bring together new forms of analysis, methods of urban historiography, organizing, and engaged forms of scholarship.

    The conference seeks to highlight the undercommons and the counternarratives fomented in the ordinary life of spaces and places. We will ask how contested knowledges and stories of a city may be experienced across different and intersecting power relations that organize bodies and space. We hope that accounts of everyday practices, local knowledges, and organizing will help illuminate how urban residents resist, adapt and reformat conventional structures of power, governance, and order. We do not expect to find a single solution, but to foster a variety of grounded strategies and projects that we aim to highlight, bring together, and learn from.

    Call for Proposals

    We seek proposals for 15-20 minute presentations which could address any of the following topics

    • Racial capitalism

    • Climate, ecology, water justice, and cities

    • Urban culture/urbanities

    • Water and land issues, particularly as they pertain to indigenous rights

    • Historiography of the city, historiography of urban political, social, or activist movements

    • Artistic practices and urban space

    • New ways to read and interpret cities—epistemologies of the urban

    • The dynamics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in urban spaces

    • Narratives of cities, urban crime, and/or segregation (in literature, film, or other media)

    • Indigenous knowledges and practices

    • Local foodways and agricultural practices

    • Urban design and sustainability (including transportation)

    • Settler colonialism and decolonizing cities

    • Cities and biopolitics/biopower

    • The urban in relation to the suburban/exurban

    Please send your abstract (up to 250 words) and a brief (1-page) CV in one PDF document by Monday, January 13, 2020 to Richard Grusin, Director, Center for 21st Century Studies, at

  • 05 Apr 2018 6:54 PM | Anonymous member

    April 2, 2018

    Dear Richard Harris,

    As the OAH prepares to gather in Sacramento, California, for our Annual Meeting, we want to use our presence in a constructive way in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, Stephon Clark, by local police officers. We are working on several initiatives:

    • Encouraging OAH members to donate to a fund for Stephon Clark’s family, especially his young sons, which former Sacramento King Matt Barnes is establishing for Clark's children's education. (Please note, there is not yet a link for this fund. We will post an update once it is available. Members and attendees may also wish to donate to the Build. Black. Initiative, which is spearheaded by a coalition group of activists, non-profits, legal support teams, youth advocates, faith leaders, police accountability and policy experts, and Sacramento community leaders in the fight for equity. Resting on four foundational pillars, the Build. Black. Coalition is working in key areas: 1) Uplifting Black Youth Voices 2) Health Equity and Access 3) Justice and Policing in Black Communities and 4) Investment in Black Neighborhoods and Businesses.)

    • Discussion in the Thursday opening plenary, on California and the nation, and in the Friday plenary on Confederate monuments, of the issues raised by the shooting.

    • Facilitating contributions from our colleagues in publishing of recent works on guns, policing, and racial violence for local libraries. (The 2018 Book Bridge partner is the California State University Sacramento library and they've partnered with Sacramento Public Library, which is hosting an event on June 3, "Let's Talk about...Guns." Donations from attendees of books on those topics are also welcomed.)

    We welcome other suggestions you may have.

    Edward L. Ayers

    OAH President

    Katherine M. Finley

    Executive Director

  • 06 Jan 2018 11:36 AM | Anonymous member

    LA History & Metro Studies Group

     “Immigrants and the Metropolis”

    2018 Schedule

    January 23, 2018 – pre-circulated paper (Autry National Center)

    “Place-makers and Place-making: The Story of a Los Angeles Community.”          

    Natalia Molina, Professor of History, UC San Diego

    ** Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Autry National Center - Joint session with Works in Progress, Autry.

    February 16, 2018 – pre-circulated paper (Seaver 1-2)

     “Beautiful Junk: Assemblage, Black Rebellion, and the Watts Towers in the 1960s.”

    Emma Silverman, Ph.D. Candidate, Art History, University of California, Berkeley

    March 16, 2018 -- pre-circulated paper (Seaver 1-2)

    “Constructing ‘Country Living’ in the Suburbs: How Homebuilders and Boosters Branded Los Angeles' East San Gabriel Valley, 1970-2000.”

    James Zarsadiaz, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, University of San Francisco


    April 20, 2018Clark Davis Memorial Lecture (Seaver 1-2)

    “Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America.”

    Steven J. Ross, Professor of History, University of Southern California


    *          *          *


    All sessions will begin at 10:30 am in the Seaver Classrooms in the Munger Research Center, Huntington Library, unless otherwise noted.  Please check e-announcements for exact location of sessions.  Parking is free.  Workshops will begin at 10:30, and lunch will be served at noon for attendees who RSVP before the posted deadline.

                For seminars with a pre-circulated paper, the paper will be made available approximately 2 weeks prior to the seminar (we are unable to distribute papers earlier than this).  At that time, you can access the paper via a link posted on the ICW website at The link will also be circulated in the email announcement for each session.  We request that participants read the papers if attending. 

                If you would like to receive announcements for these sessions, please fill out the form at


                For more information, email the co-coordinators—Ian Baldwin, Kathy Feeley, Caitlin Parker, Andrea Thabet, and Becky Nicolaides—at

    The LA History & Metro Studies Group is generously sponsored by

    the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW)

    ** Like us on Facebook: **

  • 21 Jul 2017 8:43 AM | Anonymous member

    Chicago Urban History Seminar: 2017-2018

     Chicago History Museum

    1601 N. Clark Street

    Chicago, IL 60614, or 312-799-2012

    Reception @ 5:45 pm, dinner @ 6:15 pm, and program @ 7:00 pm

    Reservations are $25: purchase by phone 312-642-4600 or


    Advance reservations for dinner are essential

    September 7, 2017

    Mike Amezcua

    University of Notre Dame

    Amigos for Daley: Richard J. Daley, Mexican American and the Making of the Conservative Colonia

    October 12, 2017

    Morris Vogel

    Tenement Museum NYC

    The Tenement Museum: Why, What, When, and How?

    November 9, 2017

    Andrew Diamond

    Université Paris-Sorbonne

    Making Neoliberal Chicago

    January 18, 2018

    Don Hayner

    Chicago Sun-Times Emeritus

    Jesse Binga: The Untold Story of Chicago’s First Black Banker

    February 15, 2018

    Cristina Groeger

    Lake Forest College

    Urban Schools, Ethnicity, and the Mobility Ladder

    March 15, 2018

    Ann Durkin Keating

    North Central College

    What if Early Chicago Was Not “Preeminently a Man’s City”?

    April 19, 2018

    Richard Anderson

    Princeton University

    Richard J. Daley as Urban Reformer

    May 10, 2018

    Timothy Mennel

    University of Chicago Press

    Publishing Urban History

    Michael H. Ebner        

    Lake Forest College

    Ann Durkin Keating 

    North Central College

    Russell Lewis         

     Chicago History Museum

     D. Bradford Hunt  

     Newberry Library

    CALL FOR PROPOSALS:  2018-2019

    We encourage expressions of interest – from historians early in their careers as well as more senior scholars – who might wish to make a presentation during 2018-2019.  We prefer that our speakers discuss their work-in-progress rather than a book or article already in print. Please contact:

  • 21 Jun 2017 9:55 AM | Anonymous member

    Urban History Dissertation Seminar

    Sponsors: The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago.

    2017-2018 Academic Year 


    Submission Deadline: August 15, 2017

    The Urban History Dissertation Seminar is a workshop held at the Newberry Library on select Saturdays for graduate students writing on urban history topics. The seminar provides a comfortable, low-pressure setting for presentation to peers of works-in-progress from dissertations (most often chapter drafts). Graduate students from all universities are welcome. Our goal is to provide a supportive space to offer ideas and comments that help our participants complete dissertations that touch on any topic of interest in our field. Our partic- ipants typically submit dissertation or book chapters, as well as academic articles, at varying stages of completion–working drafts are wholeheartedly welcome!

    Members should be committed to attending as many of the meetings as possible. To maximize time for discussion, papers are circulated electronically in advance. The group meets on six select Saturdays during the academic year, 2:00pm–4:00pm, at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. Please note that submissions must be from PhD students in candidacy, though we welcome all doctoral students to attend our workshop.

    Submissions will be reviewed and accepted, and dates assigned, on a first-come, first-served basis. After August 15, submissions will be considered on a space-available basis. Proposals should include an abstract, preferred presentation date, and a dissertation outline explaining how the paper fits into the larger project.

    Please submit proposal materials by visiting and using our webform.

    For further information, visit our website or contact

    .Urban History_CFP_flyer(2).pdf

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