PhD Northwestern University, 2006
MA Northwestern University, 2000
BA Bates College, 1997
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
- Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay (University of Chicago Press, 2020).
- “Black Freedom Struggles and Ecumenical Activism in 1960s Chicago” in Chris Cantwell, Heath Carter, and Janine Drake, editors, Between the Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the Working Class in Industrial America (University of Illinois Press, March 2016).
- Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights, University of North Carolina Press, John Hope Franklin series, 2012 (paperback, 2014).
- The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America, coauthor Jarod Roll, University of Illinois Press, 2011 (paperback and hardcover, winner of the H.L. Mitchell Prize of the Southern Historical Association, 2012).
- “In the Driver’s Seat: Chicago’s Bus Drivers and Labor Insurgency in the Era of Black Power,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 11:3 (Fall 2014).
- “Charles White and the Laboring of the African American Artistic Renaissance,” in Darlene Clark Hine, editor, The Black Chicago Renaissance (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012).
- Hannah Fuller (Co-advised with Katherine Turk)
- Cristian Roberto Walk (Co-advised with Benjamin Waterhouse)
- Benjamin Fortun
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.