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Steve Rosswurm

Headshot of Steve Rosswurm

Professor of History, Emeritus


Professor of History, Emeritus


US History
Gender and History
Mexican History


PhD Northern Illinois University
MA  Northern Illinois University
BA University of Michigan

Courses Taught

History 200: Foundation of the American Republic
History 201: Modern America
History 226: American Civil War
History 288: Women in Modern Europe and America
History 302: Colonial America
History 364: Topics in Gender and History -
    Women and Work in the US
    Witches and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and the Colonial Americas
    The Body and Western Civilization
    The Other in US History
    Borders, Boundaries, and Indentities
History 420: Senior Research Seminar -
    American Labor in the Twentieth Century
    Chicago Labor History
    Cold War Studies
    Civil War as Revolution
    US and World History
FIYS 143: Lincoln and Public Memory in Chicago
FIYS 159: Living and Working in “The Jungle”
FIYS 150: The Making of Mexican Chicago
FIYS 167: Elvis!
FYS 114:  The FBI and Twentieth-Century America
WST 114: Radicalism in US History

Courses Formerly Taught
Tudor-Stuart England
American Economic and Business History
Popular Music and American Society
Revolutionary America

Senior Theses and MLS Final Project Directed

Senior Theses: 1981-2009

Stephen Moss: Justice, Moderation, and Humanity: Henry Knox and the Development of George Washington’s Indian Policy (2009)

Andrew Eisen: Mexican Migration: Chicago’s Transnational Communities (2005)

Brianne Peck: Gender in the Little House: A Historical Analysis of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Children’s Series and Nineteenth-Century Women’s Gender (2004)

Holly Frischmann: Gender, Female Spies, and Patriotism (2004)

Sharon Milroy: Understanding Lake Forest, Illinois: An Investigation of Italian Immigrant and Entrepreneur Michael Rogondino (2003)

Derek Lambert: Ambition and Necessity: The Motivations of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849 (2003)

Rebecca Mays: James Henry Mays and the 22nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry (2002)

David Smith: Federal Power and Black Civil Rights: The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 (2002)*

Emily Fenton: “With mighty love and tenderness”: Union Army Nurses in the American Civil War (2001)   

Rory O’Connor: A Study of Andersonville Prison and Whether the Suffering Experienced by the Prisoners Was Intentional (1996)

Katherine Parkin: Day Nurseries in Chicago, 1890-1930 (1993)

Eric Kalata: A Categorical Analysis of Desertion during the American Civil War (1992)

Kelly Harmon: Mother Jones as “Hell-Raiser”: The Paint and Cabin Creek Strike (1990)*

Malcom Cannon: A Shift in the Balance of Bargaining Power: A Case Study - Jewel Food Stores v. UFCW Local 881 (1990)

Bradley Wilson: “We fight, get beat, get up, and fight again”; Nathanael Greene, Strategy, and Logistics in the Revolutionary South, 1780-81 (1986)*

Maura O’Donnell: Organizing Steel Workers, 1918/1919 and 1936/1937: Reflections of the Changing Nature of the American Labor Movement (1984)

Janet Evander: American’s Militant Suffragists: Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party (1982)

Toni Gilpin: Left by Themselves: A History of the United Farm Equipment and Metal Workers of America, 1938- 1955 (1981)*

    * Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award

MLS Final Project

Barbara Davis: “Affectionately Yours”: Civil War Homefront Letters of the Ovid Butler Family to their Son Scot Butler (2001)


The FBI and the Catholic Church, 1935 to 1962 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009)

ed., Sesquicentennial Learning Packets (Archdiocese of Chicago, 1994)

ed., The CIO’s Left-Led Unions (Rutgers University Press, 1992)

Arms, Country and Class:  The Philadelphia Militia and “Lower Sort” During the American Revolution, 1775-1783 (Rutgers University Press, 1987)


“The Contextualization of a Moment in CIO History: The Mine-Mill Battle in the Connecticut Brass Valley during World War II,” Donna T. Havery-Stacke and Daniel J. Walkowitz eds., Rethinking U.S. Labor History: Essays on the Working-Class Experience, 1756-2009 (Continuum, 2010)

“Catholic Worker Movement,” “CIO,” ” Roman Catholicism,” James Grossman et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of Chicago (2004)

“The Wondrous Tale of an FBI Bug:  What it Tells Us about Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO Leadership,” American Communist History (2, #1, 2003), 3-20

“The Chicago Archdiocese’s Response to the Cold War, 1946-1958,” Illinois History Teacher (9, #2, 2002), 23-26

“Communism and the CIO:  Catholics and the 1944 Presidential Campaign,” U. S. Catholic Historian (19, #4, 2001), 73-86

Organizer and Contributor, “Symposium” on Charles McCollester, ed., Fighter with a Heart:  Writings of Monsignor Charles Owen Rice. Pittsburgh Labor Priest, Labor History (40, #1, 1999), 53-68

“Class Relations, Political Economy, and Society in Philadelphia, 1750-1800,” Catherine E. Hutchins, ed., Shaping a National Culture:  The Philadelphia Experience, 1750-1800 (Winterthur Museum, 1994)

“Role of Catholic Women,” “Philanthropic Activity,” “Church Support from the Working Class,” Rosswurm, ed., Sesquicentennial Learning Packets (Archdiocese of Chicago, 1994)

“The Education of an Anti-Communist:  Father John Cronin and the Baltimore Labor Movement,” Labor History (33, #2, 1992), 217-247 (co-author:  Joshua B. Freeman)

“An Overview and Preliminary Assessment of the CIO’s Expelled Unions,” Rosswurm, ed., The CIO’s Left-Led Unions (Rutgers University Press, 1992)
“The Catholic Church and the Left-Led Unions:  Labor Priests, Labor Schools, and the ACTU,” Rosswurm, ed., The CIO’s Left-Led Unions (Rutgers University Press, 1992)

“Sources for the Study of Labor History at the Chicago Historical Society,” Labor’s Heritage, (2, #1, 1990), 64-75

“Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Mari Jo Buhle, et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of the American Left (1990)

“An FOIA Status Report,” OAH Newsletter, February, 1989 (reprinted in Access Reports, April 5, 1989 and Our Right to Know, Spring, 1989)

“The FBI and the Farm Equipment Workers:  FBI Surveillance Records as a Source for CIO Labor History,” Labor History (27, #4, 1986), 485-505 (co-author:  Toni Gilpin)

“Equality and Justice:  Documents from Philadelphia’s Popular Revolution, 1775-1780,” Pennsylvania History, (52, #4, 1985), 254-268 (revised version printed in Billy Smith, ed., Life in Revolutionary Philadelphia, 1775-1806:  A Documentary History [Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995])

“The Philadelphia Militia, 1775-1783:  Active Duty and Active Radicalism,” Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., Arms and Independence:  The Military Character of the American Revolution (University Press of Virginia, 1984)

“‘As a Lyen out of his den’:  Philadelphia’s Popular Movement, 1775-1780,” Margaret C. Jacob and James R. Jacob, eds., The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism (Allen & Unwin, 1983)

Review Essays

“Emancipation in New York and Philadelphia,” Journal of Urban History (21, #4, 1995), 505-510

“‘Dig and Dream’: Writing Chicago’s History in 1991,” Chicago History (21, #3, 1992), 57-67

“Chicago’s Working People in Two Eras,” Illinois Issues (17, #6, 1991), 36-37

[“Historians and Haymarket,”] Chicago History, (15 #2, 1986), 64-67
“The Pursuit of Context:  War and Society in the American Revolution,” Reviews in American History (13, #3, 1985), 342-346

Book Reviews

Catholic Historical Review (1); International and Labor and Working-Class History (2);
Wisconsin Magazine of History (1);
Intelligence and National Security (2); Social History (4);  Illinois
Historical Journal (1); American Historical Review (1)
Pennsylvania History (1); New York History (1);  Journal of
American History (3); Science and Society (1) Journal of
Interdisciplinary History (2); William and Mary Quarterly (1)
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1);
Eighteenth-Century Studies (1); Virginia Magazine of History and
Biography 1); In These Times (3); The History Teacher (1); North
Dakota History (3)


Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism Faculty Fellowship, University of Notre Dame, 1999
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars, 1996
Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow, Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1982-1983


Charles A. Behling Award (Distinguished Service and Commitment to Cultural Diversity), 1994
Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, 1990
William L. Dunn Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarly Promise, 1984

Public History

“Waukegan as Immigrant City:  1890 to the Present,” Lectures for New Teachers, Waukegan School District #60, August, 2006, 2007, 2008
“Feeling at Home:  Linking New Teachers to High-Need Communities,” (co-authors:  Shelley Sherman and Dawn Abt-Perkins)

“James Milner,” historical re-enactment, Waukegan Historical Society, “Oakwood Cemetery Walk,” September, 2005

Associate Director, Linking Learning Communities:  A New Teacher Leadership Project, 2004-2009

Program Faculty Member, McRAH (A Model Collaboration:  Rethinking American History), Lake Forest College, 2001-2004

“Death of Catholic ‘giant’ severs link with history,” Catholic New World, May 12, 2002

Consultant, Visionsmith, “The Crossing,” 1998-2002

Convener, St. Gertrude’s Parish History Project, 1996-1998

Member of Advisory Board, Encyclopedia of Chicago History (2004), 1995-2004

Interview for “Peace Comes to the Prairie,” WILL Radio, Champaign-Urbana, August, 1995

“The Back of the Yards:  Its History and the Role of Catholicism in It,” In-Service Program for Elementary and Secondary Teachers, St. Joseph’s, August, 1994

“The Civil War:  From Limited War to War of Liberation,” Elderhostel, Chicago Historical Society, July, 1994

Chair, Education Subcommittee of History/Lecture Series Committee for the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Archdiocese of Chicago, June, 1993-August, 1994

“Was J. Edgar Hoover a Homosexual (And Does It Matter If He Was)?” Reunion Weekend, Lake Forest College, May, 1993

Member of History/Lecture Series Committee for the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Spring, 1993-Fall, 1994
Member of Advisory Board of Legacy Production, “Taking Liberties: America’s Cold War Against Itself” [series of three films], April, 1993-

“Ellis Island and the American Dream,” Spectrum, Winter, 1991

“The Significance of the Civil War,” Lecture to Interpreters’ Training Session, Chicago Historical Society, May, 1991, March, 1992, March, 1993, March, 1994

“Ellis Island and the American Dream,” Lecture to Lake Forest College Alumni, Ellis Island, May, 1991

Panel Discussion on “Privacy and First Amendment Rights,” Donors Forum of Chicago, Chicago, January, 1991

“Civil War in Perspective” [lecture series], Chicago Historical Society, October-November, 1990
Member of Advisory Board, The Samuel Gruber Education Project (Government’s Assault on Democratic Trade Unions, 1930-), 1988-1992

[“Citizenship and the Study of History”], Lake Forest College Forester (1987)

Panel Discussion on Lillian Hellman, “The Children’s Hour,” Appletree Theatre Company production, Highland Park, Illinois, March, 1987

Program Notes for Appletree Theatre Company production of Lillian Hellman, “The Children’s Hour,” Highland Park, Illinois, February, 1987

Consultant, “We the People” [exhibit], Chicago Historical Society, 1987

Contributing Editor, Labor Research Review, 1986-1989

Member of Board of Directors, Illinois Labor Society, 1986-1989

“The Haymarket Tradition,” Haymarket (May, 1986) (co-author:  Toni Gilpin)

“In-Plant Strategies and the ‘Social Contract,’” Labor Research Review (Spring, 1986)

“A Humbling Experience in the Face of Past Labor:  Doing the Biographies of Ordinary People,” Origins, February, 1986

“Ordinary People and the American Revolution,” talk to the North Shore DAR, November, 1985

Panel Discussion on Comparative Revolutions, Milt Rosenberg’s “Extension 720,” WGN Radio, Chicago, August, 1985

“A Humbling Experience in the Face of Past Labor,” talk to Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, June, 1985

“What Gore Vidal Didn’t Tell You About Abraham Lincoln,” talk to Lake Forest Town/Gown Brunch, February, 1985

Workshop in American Labor History for Local 3236 of Illinois Federation of State Office Educators (IFT), UAW Center in Ottawa, October, 1983
“Historical Roots of American Involvement in El Salvador,” talk to St. Dismas Church, Waukegan, May, 1981

“Sandburg the Historian,” talk for Centennial Celebration of Carl Sandburg’s Birth, Lake Forest College, January, 1978