David Gerber

David A. Gerber

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (2005-2018)

University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor of History (emeritus)

Senior Fellow, Department of History, University at Buffalo

Director Emeritus, University of Buffalo Disability Studies Center

  • Department of History
  • Park Hall
  • University at Buffalo
  •   Email


  • B.A. - Northwestern University, with Honors in History, 1966
  • Ph.D. - Princeton University, 1971

  Employment & Professional Experience

  • University at Buffalo (SUNY)
    • Assistant Professor, (1971-1977)
    • Associate Professor with tenure, (1977-1987)
    • Promoted to Professor, (1987)
    • Formally retired, (May 2012)
    • Rehired/retired, (2012-2014)
  • Flinders University of South Australia
    • Visiting Research Professor - Fulbright Program, (Spring, 1980)
  • Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
    • Visiting Research Professor - Fulbright Program, (Fall, 2004)
  • Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China
    • Visiting Professor - Organization of American Historians Exchange Program, (June, 2014)

  Current Research Project

  • With Bruce Dierenfield, Enabling Rights: A Social History of the Lawsuit that Became Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993), contract with University of Illinois Press, to be published in the series Disability Histories in 2019.


  • Co-editor, with Alan Kraut, American Immigration and Ethnicity: A Reader (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave, St. Martin’s. 2005).
  • Authors of Their Own Lives: The Personal Correspondence of Nineteenth Century British Immigrants to North America (New York: New York University Press, 2006; paperback, 2007).   Awarded, Moroney Prize for Postal History, United States Postal Service, 2008.
  • Co-editor, with Bruce Elliot and Suzanne Sinke, Letters across Borders: The Epistolary Practices of International Migrants (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave, St. Martin’s, 2006).
  • American Immigration History: A Very Short Introduction (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2011.)
  • Editor, Disabled Veterans in History (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000, revised and expanded edition, 2012).
  • Co-Editor, with Alan Kraut, Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream, Shaping America’s Immigration Story (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2013).

Essays, Articles, Chapters, Entries, Book Reviews


  • "E Pluribus Unum? E Pluribus Plures," Reviews in American History, 45 (September, 2017), 369–377. Review essay of the Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity and the Oxford History of Asian American History.
  • "Stimulating Student Moral Engagement in the Service of Civic Education," Teaching History (scheduled for 2018).
  • Acts of Deceiving and Withholding in Immigrant Personal Correspondence, Journal of Social History 39 (December, 2005), 8-23.
  • ‘Yankey’s Now?’: Joseph and Rebecca Hartley’s Circuitous Path to American Identity: A Case Study in the Use of Immigrant Letters as Social Documentation, Journal of American Ethnic History, 28 (Spring, 2009), 7-33.
  • "Moving Backward and Moving On: Nostalgia, Significant Others, and Social Reintegration on Nineteenth Century British Immigrant Letters," The History of the Family, 21 (November 2016), 291–314, to be published in Migrant Letters: Emotional Language. Mobile Identities, and Writing Practices in Historical Perspective, Marcelo Borges and Sonia Cancian, eds. (Routledge, 2018).


  • "The Contradictory Status of Disabled Veterans," Disability, in Contemporary World Issues series, Michael Rembis, ed. (ABC-Clio, 2018).
  • "Are We Giving Students Something Worthwhile to Talk About?," AHA Perspectives (January, 2018).
  • "Rest in Peace, Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant?: A Last Testament from the Eighteenth Century," Disability History Newsletter (Spring 2017), 16-24.
  • "Disability Scholars as World Disrupters and World Makers," Disability Studies Quarterly 37, n.1 (Winter, 2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v37i1.5441.
  • "Thomas Spencer Niblock: A Dialogue of Respectability and Failure," Przeglad Polonijy [Polish Review], 31 (Spring, 2006), 23-41.  invited
  • "Disability and Immigration," Journal of American Ethnic and Immigration History, 24 (June, 2005), 49-53.  comment
  • "Old Country/Alienation/Alien Nation," Tikkun, On-Line Exclusives (March, 2007), Tikkun Magazine.
  • "Disabled Veterans: How Are They Different? What Difference Does It Make?," Disability History Newsletter, 3 (March, 2007), www.dha.osu.edu.
  • "Documenting Society and Documenting the Ties that Bind in Immigrant Personal Correspondence," Immigration History Newsletter (May, 2008), 1-3.
  • "What’s Wrong with Immigration History?," Reviews in American History, 36 (December, 2008), 543-556.
  • "Disabled Veterans, the Government, and Group Identity," OAH Magazine of History (July, 2009), 25-27.
  • "Immigration History at the Crossroad," Reviews in American History 39 (2013), 74-86. review essay
  • "Arguing Judaism, Negotiating Jewish Identity," Journal of American Ethnic History (2011) review essay
  • "The Uprooted Would Never Have Been Written if Oscar Handlin Had Taken His Own, Latter-Day Advice," Journal of American Ethnic History, 32 (Spring, 2013), 68-78.
  • "What Did Oscar Handlin Mean in the Opening Sentences of The Uprooted," Reviews in American History, 41 (March, 2013), 1-11.


  • "Transnationalization and Internationalization in American Immigration Historiography," Reed Ueda, ed., Blackwell’s Companion to American Immigration History (New York and Oxford: Blackwell’s, 2006).
  • "A Network of Two: Personal Friendship and Scottish Identification in the Correspondence of Mary Ann Archbald and Margaret Wodrow, 1807-1840," Angela McCarthy, ed., A Global Clan: Scottish Identity and Networks since the Eighteenth Century (Edinburgh: I.B. Taurus, 2006), 95-126.
  • With Bruce Elliot and Suzanne Sinke, "Introduction," Angela McCarthy, ed., Letters Across Borders, (2006), 3-35.
  • "Introduction," David Gerber and Allen Kraut, eds., Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping America’s Immigration Story (2013), 1-16.
  • "Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War," Michael Rembis, Susan Burch, and Kim Nielsen, eds., Oxford Handbook of the History of Disability (2017).


  • War and Disability, “Rev. Thomas Carroll,” “Harold Russell,” Gary L. Albrecht, et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Disability (Thousand Oaks and London: Sage, 2005).
  • "Veterans," "Blinded Veterans Association," "The Best Years of Our Lives," Susan Burch, ed., Encyclopedia of American Disability History (New York: Facts on File, 2010).

Book Reviews

  • Enterprise and Society (2007)
  • Peace and Change (2009)
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2010)
  • Journal of Social History (2010)

Presentations, Invited and/or Refereed Papers

  • "Immigrant Letter Writing as a Practice of Existential Accounting in the Correspondence of Kate Bond of Bunker Hill, Kansas," The Seminar on Urban and Ethnic History, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, (2005).
  • "A Transnational Negotiation of Identity: Personal and Ethnic Identity Constructions in the Correspondence of Mary Ann Archbald and Margaret Wodrow," The Past and Future of Immigration History at the University of Minnesota: A Conference in Honor of Rudolph Vecoli, Minneapolis (2005).
  • "Disabled Veterans History," Enabling the Past, New Perspectives in the History of Disability, University of Manchester, UK, (2005).
  • "Disabled Veterans: Their Past and Future," Representing Disability, Haverford College, (2006).
  • "Exploring the Depths and Surfaces of Immigrant Letters, or What Did Kate Bond Want to Say?," Rural History Group Colloquium, University of Guelph, Canada, (2007); The Uses of the Immigrant Letter, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, (2007); Centre for Narrative and Autobiographical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, (2010).
  • "‘Yankeys Now,’ Joseph and Rebecca Hartley’s Circuitous Path to American Identity: A Case Study of Immigrant Letters as Social Documentation," American Ethnicity: Rethinking Old Issues, Asking New Questions Conference, Jagiellonian University, Poland, (2008).
  • "The Life and Times of Maryann Woodrow Archbald," Humanities Institute, University at Buffalo, Humanities Festival (2014).
  • "Still Sick: Immigrant Self Reporting on Personal Health," Center for the New America, History of Immigration and Public Health conference, University of Maryland, College Park, (2014); History of Medicine Annual Meeting, New Haven (2015).
  • "Accomplishments and Prospects for Disability Studies and Disability History," speech at Society for Disability Studies Annual Meeting on the occasion of being given the Senior Scholars Ward, Atlanta, (2015).
  • "The Old Immigration History and the New," plenary session of senior historians’ remarks, Fiftieth Anniversary Conference, Immigration History Research Center, Minneapolis (2015).

Oral History Interviewing

  • Twelve interviews with professional employees of the former New York State West Seneca Development Center, West Seneca, New York, on the deinstituionalization and trans-institionalization of people with developmental disabilities, 2012-2013. Available from the Center for Disability Studies, University at Buffalo, Michael Rembis, Director.
  • Twenty‐five interviews for Enabling Rights, with Bruce Dierenfield. (2015– )



  • Departmental Chair, (2006-2009).


  • Committee Member, Dalai Lama Reception Planning Committee, (2005).
  • Polish Studies Advisory Committee, (2005—2006).
  • Faculty Advisory Committee, Cultures and Texts Advisory Committee, UB 2020, Planning Process, (2006-2009).
  • Search Committee, for Director, Institute for Jewish Thought, History, and Culture, (2006).
  • Faculty Advisory Committee, Institute for Jewish Thought, History, and Culture, (2006—2009).
  • Director, University at Buffalo Center for Disability Studies, (2009—2012), Faculty Advisory Committee (2012–2014).
  • Advisor to Presidential Scholarship, University at Buffalo, Undergraduate Honors Program, (2012– ).

National Professional

  • Board of Editors, Reviews in American History, (1998-2009).
  • Board of Editors, Journal of American Ethnic History, (2004- ).

International Professional

  • Advisory Board, Disability and Industrial Society Project, Swansea University, Wales, UK, (2011– 2016).

Public History Activities

  • Buffalo Jewish Archives Project. Advisory Committee (2005– ).
  • Museum of disAbility History, Amherst, New York, Board of Directors (2010– ); Chair, Board of Directors (2017– ).
  • Buffalo Jewish Federation, Buffalo Jewish Community History, Buffalo Jewish Community History Stirring Committee (2017– ).
  • Association for a Buffalo Presidential Center, Board of Trustees (2011–2016), Board of Advisors (2016– ).
  • Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, History Advisory Committee (2013– ).
  • "American President's Forum," Daemen College, Amherst, New York, conference organizing committee, October 1, 2016.



  • History 162, United States History Survey, II, 100 students, c.40 lectures a semester, my section.
  • History 416, American Immigration History, 25 students, seminar, my course.
  • History 411, Church-State Separation Issues in American History, 25 students, seminar, my course.
  • History 507, The Literature of American Immigration History, 20 students, graduate seminar, my course.
  • Undergraduate College 101, Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court, 7 students, one-credit course, Spring 2014 & Fall 2017, my course.
  • Undergraduate Honors College 214, Church and State in the United States, 27 students, one-credit course, Fall 2016, my course.

Graduate Advisement


  • In toto (1971-2015): 17 committee chairs; 26 committee memberships.


  • Committee co-chair with Susan Cahn, Bela Thacker (2005).
  • Committee chair, Ronald Kotlick (2006).
  • Committee member, James Sturckler (2006).
  • Committee chair, Danielle Battisi (2010).
  • Committee member, John McLean (2010).
  • Committee member, Mark Lempke (2012).
  • Committee co-chair with Cynthia Wu, Kritika Agrawal (2015).
  • Committee member, Violetta Ravagnoli (2015).
  • Committee member, Betsy Loren Plumb (2017).