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Associate Professor


PhD Northwestern University, 2006
MA Northwestern University, 2000
BA Bates College, 1997

Research Interest

Erik S. Gellman researches and teaches about working-class and urban life, visual culture, and comparative social movements in modern American history. He’s the author of Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights (UNC Press, 2012) and The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America (IL Press, 2011, coauthor Jarod Roll).

His most recent book, Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay, offers a synthetic textual and visual narrative of Chicago’s postwar urban history and protest politics. He’s also collaborating on two research and publication projects: an edited volume called New Black Chicago Histories (Black Metropolis Research Consortium and University of IL Press) and a 1930s-1940s labor and political history called, Organizing Agribusiness from Farm to Factory: A New Food and Labor History of America’s Most Diverse Union (UNC Press). Gellman also serves as contributing editor to Labor: Studies in Working-Class History and serves as national secretary for the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA). From 2006-2018, Gellman taught History and African American Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Some Notable Publications

Graduate Students

Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

For current information about course offerings, click here.

  • HIST 89-First Year Seminar: Special Topic, Rebuilding the Modern South: Work and Identity in Modern History
  • HIST 128-American History since 1865
  • HIST 352-The Great Depression and Its Legacies
  • HIST 365-The Worker and American Life.
  • HIST 584-The Promise of Urbanization: American Cities in the 19th and 20th Centuries.
  • HIST 728 – Introductory Colloquium in United States History since 1900.
  • HIST 864 – 19th and 20th Century American Labor.
  • HIST 890 – Readings in Urban History.
  • HIST 890 – Topics in History: Social Movements in the Americas.