Executive Director


American Historical Association

James R. Grossman is executive director of the American Historical Association. He was previously vice president for research and education at the Newberry Library, and has taught at University of Chicago and University of California, San Diego. The author of Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration and A Chance to Make Good: African-Americans, 1900–1929, Grossman was project director and co-editor of the print and digital Encyclopedia of Chicago and is editor emeritus of the series Historical Studies of Urban America, which he abandoned to his colleagues after 50 volumes. His articles and short essays have focused on various aspects of American urban history, African American history, ethnicity, higher education, and the place of history in public culture. Short pieces have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, The Hill, New York Daily News, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and elsewhere.

Land of Hope received awards from the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights and the Illinois State Historical Society. A Chance to Make Good won awards from New York Public Library and the National Council for the Social Studies. Grossman was chosen in 2005 as one of seven “Chicagoans of the Year” by Chicago Magazine.

Grossman’s consulting experience includes history-related projects generated by the BBC, Smithsonian, and various theater companies, film makers, museums, libraries, and foundations. He has served on the governing boards of the National Humanities Alliance (immediate past president), American Council of Learned Societies, Association of American Colleges and Universities, and Center for Research Libraries.

Grossman tweets @JimGrossmanAHA.