Colin Gordon

Colin Gordon
Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies
20th century U.S. history
American public policy
American political economy
American urban history
270 Schaeffer Hall
Office Hours: 
T/TH 2:00-3:00 and by appointment
Phone Number: 
(319) 335-2292

Colin Gordon writes on the history of American public policy and political economy.  He is the author of 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; Digital Johnson County, a mapping collaboration with the UI Libraries, the Office of State Archeologist, the DNR, and the State Historical Society of Iowa; and The Telltale Chart, a data visualization project focusing on historical and recent economic data.

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: 
  • Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa, (2006- )
  • May Brodbeck Fellowship (2007-08)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2004-05)
  • Title Teaching Grant, University of Iowa (2003)
  • 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)
  • Old Gold Summer Research Fellowship, University of Iowa (1995, 1996)
  • Harry S. Truman Library, Grant-in-Aid (1995)
  • Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, Grant-in-Aid (1995)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Major Research Grant (1993)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant, University of British Columbia (1991)
  • New Faculty Research and Development Grant, University of British Columbia (1990)