Richard Newman Headshot

Richard Newman

Professor
Department of History
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-5547
Office Location

Richard Newman

Professor
Department of History
College of Liberal Arts

Education

BA, State University of New York at Buffalo; MA, Brown University; Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

585-475-5547

Currently Teaching

HIST-242
3 Credits
This course will examine the American Revolutionary era as a key moment in both U.S. and global history. Focusing on the era between 1760 and 1800, the course will survey the key political, social, economic and cultural events in the founding and development of the United States as an independent nation. Key topics include debates over American independence, the development and meaning of civil society at the state and federal levels, debate over social issues such as slavery and women’s equality, American foreign policy and global views of the American Revolutionary project and the formation of both the U.S. Constitution and political parties at the close of the 18th century.
HIST-102
3 Credits
This introductory-level course will examine the social, cultural, political, technological and/or economic development of modern America as it is revealed through a particular historical topic or theme. The theme or topic of the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the subtitle, and developed in the syllabus.
HIST-323
3 Credits
The National Parks are some of America's most treasured and spectacular landscapes, but even these wild places are the product of historical forces. In this class, we will explore the history of America's National Parks, and use these spaces to unpack the relationship between Americans, their land, and their history.
HIST-101
3 Credits
How do historians understand and interpret the past? What tools do historians use to uncover the past? What does it mean to think historically? History is both an art and a science, and in this course, we will learn the methods, practices, and tools used to create historical knowledge. You will learn how to read texts with an eye toward their argument, how to ask historical questions, how to conduct historical research, and how to write a historical narrative. At the discretion of the instructor, the class may use examples from a particular historical era to ground course concepts in a specific historical tradition.
HIST-340
3 Credits
This course will survey Rochester area social reformers who led a number of critical reform movements, identifying problems with the status quo and proposing solutions to those problems. They worked to establish a new social order and even to perfect society. As an Erie Canal boom town and major manufacturing hub, Rochester inspired generations of famous reformers who made principled arguments for improving urban life and labor relations, ending slavery and securing civil rights for African Americans, and claiming equality for American women. Students will study the historical impact of celebrated social reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony as well as less well known figures like religious revivalist Charles Finney, urban park reformer Charles Mulford Robinson, and advocate of the social gospel Walter Rauschenbusch. The course will also introduce contemporary efforts that have attempted to reshape principles of social justice locally and nationally. In the 20th century the social reform movement efforts turned to the ethical and social problems of a modernizing America, debating solutions to the pressing problems of urbanization, immigration, and environmental protection. Students will also work on a community-based research project focusing on the history and impact of particular Rochester reformers.
HIST-103
3 Credits
This course offers an introduction to the study of history by exploring the history of a particular city. Cities are complicated places, where many peoples, cultures, and histories overlap and interact. Their histories are also shaped by many forces, such as economic, cultural, demographic, social, and sexual, operating at levels from local to national to global. Studying a city offers a window into the history of a local place as well as a nation. The choice of the city is left up to the individual professor. Cities under study in the past have included Rochester, Las Vegas, and Paris.

In the News

  • March 31, 2020

    Richard Newman and Lisa Hermsen.

    Podcast: Experiencing History Where it Happened  

    Intersections: The RIT Podcast, Ep. 34: Studying history is more than poring over textbooks and old documents. History Professor Richard Newman and humanities Professor Lisa Hermsen talk about place-based learning, which gets students into the community to experience where the history happened.

  • March 31, 2020

    Richard Newman sitting in an office chair.

    Faculty Profile: Richard Newman

    When Richard Newman graduated from high school, he never imagined he’d wind up being a college history professor. Newman, a professor of history in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, came to RIT in 1998. He specializes in early American, African-American, and environmental history.

Select Scholarship

Full Length Book
Newman, Richard. Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present. New Paperback Edition ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019. Print.
Newman, Richard. Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction. Audiobook edition ed. New York City, NY: Tantor Audio, 2019. Web.
Newman, Richard. Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018. Print.
Book Chapter
Newman, Richard. "Allen's Knee." Protesting on Bended Knee. Fargo, North Dakota: The Digital Press, 2018. 3. Web.