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Colin Gordon

Colin Gordon
20th century U.S. history
American public policy
American political economy
American urban history
270 Schaeffer Hall
Office Hours:
On leave Fall 2019
Phone Number:

Colin Gordon writes on the history of American public policy and political economy.  He is the author of Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs (Chicago, in press); Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality (Institute for Policy Studies, 2013); Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008); Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2003), and New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935 (Cambridge University Press, 1994).  He has written for the Nation, In these Times, Z Magazine, Atlantic Cities, and Dissent (where he is a regular contributor).  His digital projects include Mapping Decline, an interactive mapping project based on his St. Louis research; and Digital Johnson County, a mapping collaboration with the UI Libraries, the Office of State Archeologist, the DNR, and the State Historical Society of Iowa. He is a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project, for which he has written or co-written reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions (including the biennial State of Working Iowa series).

Colin Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990.  His web page is


Courses recently taught by Professor Gordon include:

  • HIST:1219  Big Ideas:  Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America
  • HIST:1262  American History 1877-Present
  • HIST:2151  Introduction to the History Major -- Iowa History
  • HIST:2195  Digital History Workshop
  • HIST:3232  History of American Inequality
  • HIST:4264  USA in a World at War 1931-1945
  • HIST:4266  The New Era and the New Deal 1920-1940
  • HIST:6001  First Year Graduate Colloquium
  • HIST:7192  Pre-Dissertation Writing Seminar
  • HIST:7241  Readings in U.S. Social Policy
  • HIST:7263  Readings in Contemporary United States

Awards & Service

  • F. Wendell Miller Professor of History, July 2016
  • University of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, May 2016
  • Major Research Grant, UI Internal Funding Initiative, September 2015
  • Distinguished Achievement in Publicly-Engaged Research Award, University of Iowa (2015)
  • CLAS Collegiate Fellow, 2014
  • Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa, (2006-2011)
  • May Brodbeck Fellowship (2007-08)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2004-05)
  • Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant, University of Iowa (2002-03)
  • Obermann Center Interdisciplinary Research Grant (Summer 2002)
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, University of Iowa (2000-04)
  • Faculty Scholar Award, University of Iowa (1998-2000)
  • Central Investment Fund for Research Enhancement Grant (1997)