SUNY Empire State College
177 Livingston Street, 6th foor
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
718 907 5759

I am a mentor and assistant professor of public affairs and history at SUNY Empire State College, where I am based in the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. I also teach in the Work and Labor Studies program of Empire State's Center for Graduate Studies. I study and teach the working-class and labor history of North America, with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration. My book, Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (University of Illinois Press, 2015) is about the working-class response to disaster and to the expanding state. Specifically, it examines 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. I've also written scholarly articles on a variety of other subjects, ranging from interwar Social Catholicism to Indigenous land rights to transnational printers in the 19th century.

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, Duke University, and Yale University, and I have been the William Lyon Mackenize King Research Fellow at Harvard, a Josephine de Karman Fellow, a University Scholar at Duke, a Kenan Center for Ethics Graduate Colloquium Fellow, and an American Council of Learned Societies/Andrew W. Mellon Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellow. I got a B.A. in history from Yale University in 2002 and an M.A. (2006) and Ph.D (2010) in history from Duke.

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, labor studies, and American government. I also teach modern American history, immigration history and policy, labor history, Canadian history, and U.S.-Canada relations, and a variety of other topics. In addition to Empire State, I have taught at Harvard University, Columbia University, Duke University, and Meiji University in Tokyo.

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 Ethics newsletter Ethics in Action contains an interview with me about the ethics of disaster relief [pdf]. Sometimes, reporters ask me for historical or other background on topics about which I have some expertise. Most Sundays, I compile a list of my favorite articles of the week and include them in The New Inquiry’s Sunday Reading feature.

The televisually inclined can watch three (now rather old) videos 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 (somewhat more recent) 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