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Dr. Thomas F. Jorsch

Teaching Assistant Professor of American Studies

Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

SSH 118


Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Political Radicalism 



Social justice and democracy underscore both my teaching and research. All my courses in American Studies emphasize injustices endured by groups of people and the steps they took within a democracy to understand and address the power structure that caused them.


My research focuses chronologically on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and thematically on political radicalism. Specifically, I study socialism in small Midwestern communities and how these socialists synthesized republicanism, Populism, Marxism, and other ideologies to create a workable political radicalism to address the problems that an industrial political economy posed for their communities. These people were not watered-down socialists, as often described, but legitimate radicals challenging entrenched power and imagining a purer democracy.


Because my research on socialism often overlapped chronologically with World War 1, I have a secondary interest in how the Great War affected small Midwestern communities. Along with the limits the War placed on dissent and political discourse for socialists, I’m interested more broadly in questions of national identity and community cohesion within a democracy during wartime.


Courses Taught

 HIST 1103 Survey of American History 

AMST 2103 Introduction to American Studies 

AMST 3373 Comparative Truth and Reconciliation in the Americas 

AMST 3723 Cultural History of American Sports 

AMST 3950 Special Topics: Social Justice 

AMST 3950 Special Topics: Socialism in the US

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