Title: John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Assistant Professor in the History of American Politics, Institutions and Political Economy
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Educational and professional background: PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University; Prize Postdoctoral Fellow in Economics, History and Politics from Harvard University
How did you get into your field of research?
I always remember having an interest in urban history and housing since childhood. My specific project centers around the long history of housing segregation in the United States. It was guided, in part, by happy accidents of stumbling on good archival collections and in part by observing how inequality seemed written into the built environment.
What attracted you to UW-Madison?
The welcoming faculty, the generous position and the quality of life in Madison.
What was your first visit to campus like?
It was nerve-wracking and brief, since it was for my job interview, but I got a great first impression of my colleagues and the university.
What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with?
That everything around them has a history.
Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.
I see part of my job as giving students the tools to identify inequality and understand how it has worked historically so that when they go out to become publicly minded citizens they question the status quo and create a better future.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?
If you look at patterns of housing segregation today in Madison, you will find a lot of similarities to housing segregation in the 1940s. That is not a coincidence.
Cooking, walking, travel.