SUNY Empire State College
Harvard University
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Mass. 02138
617 495 8562

I am assistant professor of public affairs and mentor at the Metropolitan Center, Brooklyn Unit, of the State University of New York Empire State College. I am on leave for academic year 2013-14, during which time I am the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University (where I am also a lecturer on history). I received my Ph.D. in history from Duke University in 2010. I study the working-class and labor history of North America, with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration. My prize-winning dissertation, “Cities of Comrades: Urban Disasters and the Formation of the North American Progressive State,” examined the overlapping responses of individuals, families, civil society, and the state to the Salem, Mass., Fire of 1914, and the Halifax, N.S., Explosion of 1917. My book, Disaster Citizenship, based on that dissertation, will be published in 2015 by the University of Illinois Press. I served twice as executive secretary of the Labor and Working-Class History Association, and I am a founding member of the Southern Labor Studies Association and the Labor Research and Action Network. I have received awards from the Canadian Committee on Labour History, the Labor and Working-Class History Association, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Josephine De Kármán Foundation, Duke University, and Yale University. I got a B.A. in history from Yale University in 2002 and an M.A. in history from Duke in 2006.

My teaching and mentoring interests are related to my research. I lead study groups in disaster studies, human rights, history of the welfare state, ethics, and American government. I also teach modern American history, immigration history and policy, labor history, Canadian history, and U.S.-Canada relations.

My historical work informs and inspires contemporary interests in the labor movement, urban affairs, and disaster response. I tweet regularly on these topics (and others) as @jacremes. My popular writing has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the News and Observer, Alternet, Truth-Out, and on various blogs. The Spring 2010 issue of the Kenan Institute for Ethic’s newsletter Ethics in Action contains an interview with me about the ethics of disaster relief (you can download a pdf of the entire issue instead). Sometimes, reporters ask me for historical or other background on topics about which I have some expertise.

The televisually inclined can watch three vidoes of me presenting or discussing my work. The History News Network put on YouTube an excerpt of my talk at the American Historical Association on Hurricane Katrina and the history of disasters; you can watch that video here. In October 2009, I presented part of my dissertation at the Franklin Humanities Institute’s Wednesdays and the Center series; you can download that video from iTunesU. (You can download the maps I reference in the presentation below.) Finally, in February 2010 I was interviewed as part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’s Conversations in Ethics series; you may watch that video here. You can also watch my television interviews about Canada and disasters.


Curriculum vitae

Dissertation maps

David Carliner: A Bibliography in Process

List of Canadian research tools

Published letters to editors

Graduate school exam reading lists