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


  • "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).
  • "E Pluribus Unum? E Pluribus Plures," Reviews in American History, 45 (September, 2017), 369–377. Review essay of the Oxford Handbook of American Immigration, Ronald H. Bayor, ed., and the Ethnicity and the Oxford History of Asian American History, David K. Yoo and Eiichuro Azuma, eds.
  • "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, http://dishist.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/DHASpring2017Newsletter511.pdf.
  • "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).