Associate Professor
919-445-4647
egellman@unc.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Education

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

Research Interests

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 next book, Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay (University of Chicago Press and funded through an NEH Public Scholar grant and the Gage Gallery in Chicago), will offer a synthetic textual and visual narrative of Chicago’s postwar urban history and protest politics. He’s 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. Gellman also serves as contributing editor to Labor: Studies in Working-Class History and is co-program chair for the upcoming 2019 Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) conference in Durham. From 2006-2018, Gellman taught History and African American Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Some Notable Publications

  • “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).
  • 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 890 - Urban America, Rural America
    HIST 365 - The Worker and American Life.
    HIST 584 - The Promise of Urbanization: American Cities in the 19th and 20th Centuries.