Tracy Neumann

Tracy Neumann

Associate Professor
Coordinator, Master's Program in Public History


313-577-6987 (fax)

 3131 Faculty/Administration Building


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Tracy Neumann

Tracy Neumann specializes in transnational and global approaches to twentieth-century North American history, with an emphasis on cities and the built environment. She teaches courses on twentieth-century U.S. history, urban history, research methods, and public history. Before pursuing a PhD, she worked for several years as a consultant for a cultural resource management firm, and her professional experience as a public history practitioner led her to help develop Wayne State's MA Program in Public History, for which she serves as the coordinator. She also co-edits the Global Urban History blog and sits on the editorial boards of Urban History and Temple Univerity Press's Pennsylvania History book series.

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Modern U.S. History

  • Urban History


Neumann's work explores the politics of urban development and how global and local processes interact to shape urban space, public policy, and daily life. She is the author of Remaking the Rust Belt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and of essays on urban history and public policy. Her current research examines the political, cultural, and intellectual history of the global dissemination of urban design and international development concepts since 1945, with a focus on the role of philanthropic foundations and international organizations. Through an investigation of programs sponsored by organizations such as the UN, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, she is reconstructing how ideas about the design and management of North Atlantic cities influenced, and were influenced by, development projects in the global South.

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D., History, New York University, 2011
  • M.A., Historic Preservation Planning, Cornell University, 2001
  • B.A., History & Russian Studies, University of Michigan, 1998

Awards and Grants

  • Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, Wayne State Univerity, 2017

  • William Lyon Mackenzie King Postdoctoral Fellowship, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2015-2016

  • President’s Research Enhancement Award in the Arts and Humanities, Wayne State University, 2015-2016

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Wayne State University, 2014

  • University Research Grant, Wayne State University, 2014

  •  Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University, 2013-2014

  • Residency Research Fellowship, Eisenberg Institute, University of Michigan, 2012-2013

Selected Publications


  • Remaking the Rust Belt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)

Articles & Essays

  • “The Post-Industrial City,” in Mark Rose and Roger Biles, eds., The American President and Capitalism Since 1945 (Gainesville, FL: The University Press of Florida, 2017), 249-267
  • “‘Goodbye, Steeltown’: Planning Post-Steel Cities in the US and Canada,” in Steven High, Lachlan MacKinnon, and Andrew Perchard, eds., The Deindustrialized World: Confronting Ruination in Post-Industrial Places (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2017), 190-207
  • “Renaissance and Retrenchment in the 1970s,” Journal of Urban History 39 (January 2015): 39-43
  • “Privatization, Devolution, and Jimmy Carter's National Urban Policy,” Journal of Urban History 40 (March 2014): 283-300

Currently Teaching

  • On sabbatical in Winter 2018

Courses taught

  • HIS 5665/7665, Global Cities (3 cr.), Fall 2017
  • HIS 5670/7670, Modern American Cities (4 cr.), Winter 2017
  • HIS 7830, Methods and Research in History (3 cr.), Fall 2016
  • HIS 7835, Public History (3 cr.), Fall 2016