James Gregory

Associate Chair
James Gregory

Contact Information

SMI 312B
Office Hours
AUT 20: Please contact to set up a virtual appointment.


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1983

My research and teaching center on four aspects of 20th century United States history: (1) labor history, particularly the history of American radicalism; (2) regionalism, both the West and the South; (3) race and civil rights history; (4) migration, especially inside the United States.

I am the author of American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California (awarded the Ray Allen Billington Prize from the OAH and the Annual Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA) and The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America (winner of the Philip Taft Labor History Book Prize) . Recent publications  include the edited book The Seattle General Strike Centennial Edition, authored by Robert L. Friedheim with an introduction, photo essay, and afterword by James N. Gregory.

Much of my current work focuses on American social movements and the political geography of radicalism. The Mapping American Social Movements Project  produces and publishes interactive maps and visualizations about dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics during the 20th century, including radical political parties, Black freedom movements, Chicanx/Latinx movements, labor movements, women’s movements, antiwar and environmentalist movements, LGBTQ activism. I develop key observations from the mapping project and a reinterpretation of the history of American radicalism in "Remapping the American Left: A History of Radical Discontinuity," Labor: Studies in Working Class History (May 2020), an essay that began as my presidential address to the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

In addition, I am active in the field of digital and public history, directing a collection of online sites grouped as the Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium.  These include the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project  and America's Great Migrations Project

The Racial Restrictive Covenants Project is the most recent endeavor. Authorized by the Washington legislature under HB 1335 (May 2021), this project is charged with identifying and mapping neighborhoods marked by racist deed provisions and restrictive covenants. With more than 50,000 restricted properties identified so far, the project provided the research for the newly enacted Covenant Homeownership Account Act  (HB1474) that will compensate victims of restrictive covenants. 


• Barclay Simpson Prize for Scholarship in Public (University of Washington), 2015
• Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2007-2010, 2010-2013, 2013-2020
• James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities (University of Washington teaching award) 2007
• Philip Taft Labor History Book Prize (2006) for The Southern Diaspora
• Ray Allen Billington Prize (1991) from Organization of American Historians for American Exodus
• Pacific Coast Branch Book Award (1990) from American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch for American Exodus


Selected Research

Courses Taught

Graduate Study Areas

Division: United States History

My graduate teaching fields are tailored to the individual interests of students. We will work out precise subject areas and reading lists as we proceed. Subject to those negotiations, students generally choose one of the following concentrations:

Twentieth Century U.S.

I prefer to treat this as a broad field that covers the full chronological sweep of the century. Students will read widely, developing a modest familiarity with the literature on a large number of subjects (including politics, culture, foreign relations, race, gender, labor, region, urban). Depending upon interests, certain issues and time periods will be developed in more depth.

Class, Race, Labor, and Political Economy

This concentration joins the subject of American political economy with those of labor history and race/ethnic formation covering both the 19th and the 20th centuries.

Regions, Migration, Immigration

This concentration explores place and mobility in American history with readings that examine how place identities and regional political economies have been formed and maintained and how migrations (both from abroad and internal) reshape places and people.

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