David A. Gerber

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University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus

Senior Fellow, Department of History, University at Buffalo

Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus, UB Center for Disability Studies

Distinguished Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., Princeton University (1971), American History (Major Field)

B.A., Northwestern University (1966), Phi Beta Kappa; High Honors

Fields of Study Within American History

American History, Transnational Developments,
Social & Personal Identities; Immigration & Ethnicity;
Disability & Disabled Veterans of Military Conflict;
Church-State Jurisprudence.

Current Book Projects

Current Research Project, with Bruce Dierenfield, Disability Rights and Religious Liberty in Education: The Story behind Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District, 
to be included in Disability Histories Series,edited by Michael Rembis and Susan Burch,
University of Illinois Press, July 2020.
Learn more about the book.

Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War

Oxford University Press Handbook for Disability History (2017)

Moving Backward and Moving On

Nostalgia, Significant Others, and Social Reintegration in Nineteenth Century British Immigrant Personal Correspondence

The History of the Family v.21 #3 (November, 2016), 291–314.

Disability Scholars as World Disrupters and Worldmarkers

Disability Studies Quarterly (2017)

Pity Party

A Review Essay on Paul Longmore, Telethons: Spectacle, Disability and the Business of Charity

Reviews in American History, 44, #4 (December, 2016)



David A. Gerber taught American History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) from 1971 to his retirement in 2012. He was founding Director of the Center for Disability Studies at UB, and served in that capacity from 2009 through 2012. His interests in History have been grown over the course of years to encompass manifestations of personal and social identity in a wide variety of groups and individuals including during the course of his career: African Americans; American Jews; American Catholics; European immigrants, and people with disabilities. In that connection, his last major monograph developed analysis of the cycle of personal correspondence between immigrants and family and friends in the countries they left in Europe as a means for examining both long distance relationships and identities challenged by new circumstances of immigration and resettlement. Another major direction of his work as an historian has been analysis of the pluralistic structuring of American society to afford a variety of groups differential access to distribution of goods and power. His latest, collaborative research examines simultaneously both church-state jurisprudence and disability in connection with this understanding of pluralism.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
University at Buffalo
546 Park Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260