Thomas A. Guglielmo
- Associate Professor of American Studies and MA Advisor
- [email protected]
Areas of Expertise
race and ethnicity, civil rights, immigration, social and political history
Professor Guglielmo’s teaching and research interests include race and ethnic studies, immigration, and twentieth-century U.S. social, cultural, and political history. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on race & racism, civil rights, immigration, World War II, and the U.S. state. His research has been supported by Stanford University’s Research Institute for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and by Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. He currently serves as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.
His first book, White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2003), received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians. It argued primarily that numerous individuals and institutions both questioned Italians’ racial desirability (as Italians, South Italians, Sicilians, and Latins) and accepted them as “white on arrival” in the United States. This argument challenged a central tenet of "whiteness scholarship," namely that European immigrants were “in-between peoples,” temporary occupants of a not-quite-white murky middle. Professor Guglielmo argued, instead, that some whiteness scholars, by failing to appreciate the differences between “color” categories (e.g., white and black) and European “racial” ones (e.g., Latin and Nordic), underestimated the stability—and, unwittingly, some of the concrete advantages—of European immigrants’ white status.
Professor Guglielmo is presently finishing up a second book entitled Divisions: World War II, the U.S. Military, and the Making of Race in America (under contract with Oxford University Press). It examines the U.S. armed forces as a critical, if oft-forgotten, site of race-making and social-movement-making. Despite a substantial scholarship on the subject, the details and impact of the military’s racial boundaries remain a mystery. What exact form did they take? Whom did they divide precisely? How were they instituted and mightily struggled over? What impact did they have on American troops and on the nation as a whole? Drawing on the interdisciplinary fields of race-making and boundary-making and on a decade of painstaking archival research, Professor Guglielmo argues, most broadly, that America's military did more than segregate races. It also helped to produce them – and, unwittingly, a series of powerful civil rights struggles in the process.
PhD, University Michigan, 2000
White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Articles and Chapters:
“A Martial Freedom Movement: Black GIs’ Political Struggles during World War II,” Journal of American History 104 (March 2018): 879-903.
“Defining America’s Racial Boundaries: Blacks, Mexicans, and European Immigrants, 1890-1945,” (co-authored with Cybelle Fox). American Journal of Sociology 118 (September 2012): 327-379
“’Red Cross, Double Cross’: Race and America’s World War II-Era Blood Donor Service.” Journal of American History 97 (June 2010): 63-90.
“Fighting for Caucasian Rights: Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and the Transnational Struggle for Civil Rights in World War II Texas.” Journal of American History 92 (March 2006): 1212-1237.
“Encountering the Color Line in the Everyday: Italians in Interwar Chicago.” Journal of American Ethnic History 23 (Summer 2004): 45-77.
Republished in Race and Immigration in the United States: New Histories, edited by Paul Spickard, 148-177. London: Routledge, 2011.
Republished in Reconstructing Italians in Chicago: Thirty Authors in Search of Roots and Branches, edited by Dominic Candeloro, 81-112. Stone Park, IL: Italian Cultural Center/Casa Italia, 2011.
“Rethinking U.S. Whiteness Historiography.” In Whiteout: The Continuing Significance of Racism, edited by Ashley Doane and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, 49-61. New York: Routledge, 2003.
“‘No Color Barrier’: Italians, Race, and Power in the United States.” In Are Italians White?: How Race Is Made in America, edited by Jennifer Guglielmo and Salvatore Salerno, 29-43. New York: Routledge, 2003.
“The Changing Meaning of Difference: Race, Color, and Ethnicity in America, 1930-1964,” (co-authored with Earl Lewis). In Race and Ethnicity in America: A Concise History, edited by Ronald H. Bayor, 167-192. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
“Toward Essentialism, Toward Difference: Gino Speranza and Conceptions of Race and Italian-American Racial Identity, 1900-1925.” Mid-America 81 (Summer 1999): 169-213.
General Interest Essays and Podcasts:
"A Martial Freedom Movement: Black G.I.s' Political Struggles during World War II" , Journal of American History, March 2018.
"Keywords in Modernity: Race", The Potomac Center for the Study of Modernity, August 2017
“What I Know about Racial Preferences,” The Observer, February 8, 2004.
"Affirmative action for immigrant whites," Oxford University Press Blog, March 27, 2015.
"Desegregating blood: a civil rights struggle to remember," The Conversation, February 12, 2015.
American Social Movements (graduate seminar)
The United States and the World (graduate seminar)
Twentieth-Century US Immigration History (undergraduate lecture/discussion)
World War II in History and Memory (undergraduate lecture/discussion)
Civil Rights Movements (undergraduate and graduate seminars)
Race & Racism in US History (undergraduate and graduate seminars)
The US State: History & Theory