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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
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By appointment
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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 (University of Chicago Press, 2019); 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, Jacobin, and Dissent (where he is a regular contributor). His digital projects include online companions to Citizen Brown and Mapping Decline, and public history on the history of racial segregation in Iowa counties, and in St. Louis. His recent research support includes a  National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2021-22) and a visiting scholar fellowship at the Russell Sage Foundation (2022-23).  He is a senior research consultant at Common Good Iowa 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). He is the recipient of an F. Wendell Miller Professorship (2016), the University of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (2016); the University of Iowa Award for Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research (2015), and the College of Liberal Arts and Science Collegiate Fellowship (2014).


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)



Commentary and Popular Writing