John Bukowczyk

John Bukowczyk

Professor

aa2092@wayne.edu

 3125 Faculty/Administration Building

John Bukowczyk

John J. Bukowczyk, a native of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, grew up in a working-class family and attended the local public schools. In 1972 he graduated from Northwestern University, with a double major in History and Political Science, and went on the graduate school in American History at Harvard University, where he received A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. While finishing his doctorate, Bukowczyk taught briefly at Connecticut College (1978-80) and in 1980, the year he matriculated, he joined the Wayne State University faculty, where he has taught courses in American history and U.S. immigration and ethnic history. At Wayne State, Bukowczyk rose through the ranks, receiving tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1986 and promotion to full professor in 1992. From 1998 to 2010, Bukowczyk served as Director of the WSU Canadian Studies Program.

Professor Bukowczyk specializes in American immigration and ethnic history and urban history. His work focuses on the construction, maintenance, and transformation of personal, civic, and ethnic identities; urban and regional economic development; urban ethnic, race, and class relations; and the relationship between group rights and social justice. His scholarship engages large questions about citizenship and society: What is an American? What is America? What should it be? He has published widely in various historical sub-fields. His books include And My Children Did Not Know Me: A History of the Polish Americans (Indiana University Press, 1987), reprinted in 2008 as A History of the Polish Americans (Transaction Publishers), and Permeable Border: The Great Lakes Basin as Transnational Region, 1650-1990 (University of Pittsburgh Press and University of Calgary Press, 2005), co-authored with N. Faires, D. Smith, and R. Widdis, winner of the 2006 Albert B. Corey Prize, awarded biennially by the American Historical Association and the Canadian Historical Association for “the best book on Canadian-American relations or on the history of both countries.” He also is the editor of several volumes, including Immigrant Identity and the Politics of Citizenship (University of Illinois Press, 2016); Polish Americans and Their History: Community, Culture, and Politics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996); and, with Douglas Aikenhead, Detroit Images: Photographs of the Renaissance City (Wayne State University Press, 1989).

In recognition of his work, Professor Bukowczyk has won numerous awards and prizes. In addition to the Corey Prize, he received the William Gilbert Award for Best Article on Teaching History from the American Historical Association (1995); the Richard C. McCormick Prize for Scholarly Publication (best article) from the New Jersey Historical Commission (1985); and, from the Polish American Historical Association, the Rev. Joseph P. Swastek (best article) Prize (1985), the Oskar Halecki Award (best book) Award (1987), the Miecislaus Haiman (scholarly achievement) Award (1994), and the organization’s Distinguished Service Award (2002). At Wayne State, Bukowczyk has been honored with the WSU President's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000), the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award (1998), a Charles Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship (1997-99), the Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award (1988), and a WSU Career Development Chair (1987-88). In 2000, Bukowczyk received the Gold Cross of Merit, awarded by the Government of Poland; and in 2002 he was invited to attend the 130-guest State Dinner in honor of the President of the Republic of Poland held at the White House in Washington, D.C. Bukowczyk also has received support for his scholarly work the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Michigan Council for the Humanities, the Michigan Council for the Arts, the Detroit Council for the Arts, the New Jersey Historical Commission, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Immigration History Research Center, the Government of Canada, and various WSU offices and research support programs.

From 2004 to 2017, Bukowczyk served as editor of the Journal of American Ethnic History, the leading scholarly journal in the immigration and ethnic history field in the United States. He also edits the Ohio University Press Polish and Polish-American Studies Series and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of American Ethnic History, Polish American Studies, and Immigrants and Minorities. Bukowczyk is past president of the Polish American Historical Association (1990-92) and has served on the boards of that organization, the Urban History Association, and Preservation Detroit. In his early career, for several years he also co-chaired the organizing committee for WSU’s annual North American Labor History Conference and also taught in WSU’s Labor Studies Center.

Bukowczyk is a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Urban History Association, the Social Science History Association, the Polish American Historical Association, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, and the WSU chapter of the AAUP-AFT. His civic engagements include memberships in the Polish Museum of America, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Proprietary House Association, Kearny Cottage Historical Society, Friends of the Perth Amboy Free Public Library, the Catalina Island Conservancy, and the Sierra Club.

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • U.S. Migration/Immigration & Ethnic

  • Race

  • Citizenship

  • Urban History

Research

Professor Bukowczyk is a specialist in American immigration and ethnic history and urban history.

His work focuses on the construction, maintenance, and transformation of personal, civic, and ethnic identities; urban and regional economic development; urban ethnic, race, and class relations; and the relationship between group rights and social justice.

His scholarship engages large questions about citizenship and society: What is an American? What is America? What should it be?

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D., History, Harvard University, 1980.
  • A.M., History, Harvard University, 1973.
  • B.A., History & Political Science, Northwestern University, 1972.

Awards and Grants

  • Association for Borderland Studies Nominee (3rd place/bronze) Award (best book) (2008)

  • Albert B. Corey Prize, awarded biennially by the American Historical Association and the Canadian Historical Association for “the best book on Canadian-American relations or on the history of both countries” (2006)

  • William Gilbert Award for Best Article on Teaching History, American Historical Association (1995)

  • Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, Wayne State University (1988)

  • Oskar Halecki Award (best book, co-winner), Polish American Historical Association (1987)

  • Choice Outstanding Academic Book (1987)

  • Richard C. McCormick Prize for Scholarly Publication (best article), New Jersey Historical Commission (1985)

  • Rev. Joseph P. Swastek Prize (best article), Polish American Historical Association (1985)

  • Kosciuszko Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award for 1985

  • Invited to 130-guest State Dinner in honor of the President of the Republic of Poland, White House, Washington, D.C. (July 17, 2002)

  • Distinguished Service Award, Polish American Historical Association (2002)

  • Detroit 300 Polish Heritage Award (for Polish-American contributions to the city's history and well-being), Detroit 300 Polish American Heritage Committee (2001)

  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Wayne State University (2000)

  • Gold Cross (1st class/gilt) of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (for public and professional service to the Republic of Poland) (2000)

  • Elected honorary member of the Polonia Research Committee of the Polish Academy of Science, one of the first ten members from outside of Poland (and only six from the United States (1999)

  • Charles Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University (1997-99)

  • College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award, Wayne State University (1998)

  • Nominee, Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, Wayne State University (1998)

  • Miecislaus Haiman Award (for sustained scholarly contribution to the study of the Polish-American group in the U.S.), Polish American Historical Association (1994)

  • Elected to the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (1991)

  • Academy of Scholars Junior Lecture, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (December 5, 1989)

  • Career Development Chair, Wayne State University (1987-88)

Selected Publications

BOOKS

  • Permeable Border: The Great Lakes Basin as Transnational Region, 1650-1990 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press and Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2005), co-authored with N. Faires, D. Smith, and R. Widdis. Winner of the 2006 Albert B. Corey Prize, awarded biennially by the American Historical Association and the Canadian Historical Association for "the best book on Canadian-American relations or on the history of both countries."
  • And My Children Did Not Know Me: A History of the Polish-Americans (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987). Choice Outstanding Academic Book (1987); Winner of Faculty Recognition Award, Wayne State University; Co-winner of Oscar Halecki Award (Best Book), Polish American Historical Association. Reprint edition, with new introduction, re-issued as A History of the Polish Americans (New Brunswick, N.J., and London: Transaction Publishers, 2008).

 

EDITED VOLUMES

  • Immigrant Identity and the Politics of Citizenship (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016).
  • Polish Americans and Their History: Community, Culture, and Politics (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996).
  • Detroit Images: Photographs of the Renaissance City (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), co-edited with D. Aikenhead.

 

REPORTS

  • Poletown: Urban Change in Industrial Detroit: The Making of Detroit's East Side, 1850-1990. Historical monograph prepared for the Community and Economic Development Department, City of Detroit (March 1991). 367 pp.
  • Polish-Americans in Metropolitan Detroit, Census Discussion Paper (Detroit: Center for Urban Studies, Wayne State University, September 1989). 35pp.

 

ARTICLES & ESSAYS

  • "In-Between Ethnics: Personal Biography and Polish-American Identity," Polish American Studies 74, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 13-24.
  • "California Dreamin', Whiteness, and the American Dream," Journal of American Ethnic History 35, no. 2 (Winter 2016): 91-106.
  • "Oscar Handlin's World," Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 3 (Spring 2013): 7-18.
  • "Making Polonia - From Many One? Or Many? Or None? - Problematizing Polish American Identity," Polish Review 56, no. 3 (2011): 187-206.
  • "Braci" [Embers/Brothers], Journal of American Ethnic History 20, no. 3 (Spring 2011): 48-55.
  • “Introduction,” to “Forum on New Directions in Irish Immigration and Ethnic History,” Journal of American Ethnic History 28, no. 4 (Summer 2009): 66.
  • “Introduction,” to “Forum: Teaching Immigration and Ethnic History,” Journal of American Ethnic History 28, no. 2 (Winter 2009): 60-62.
  • “The Permeable Border, the Great Lakes Basin, and the Canadian-American Relationship,” Michigan Historical Review 34, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 1-16.
  • "Introduction," Forum: Future Directions in American Immigration and Ethnic History, Journal of American Ethnic History 25, no. 4 (Summer 2006): 68-73.
  • "Holy Mary, Other of God: Sacred and Profane Constructions of Polish-American Womanhood," Polish Review 48, no. 2 (2003): 195-203.
  • "Homage to the Contadini: The Influence of Rudolph J. Vecoli on Immigration and Ethnic History," Italian Americana 21, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 125-134.
  • "The Big Lebowski Goes to the Polish Wedding: Polish Americans--Hollywood Style," Polish Review 47, no. 2 (2002): 211-229.
  • "Research on Polonia and Ethnic Studies in the United States: A Reconnaissance," Przegl¹d Polonijny (journal of the Polish Academy of Sciences) 27, no. 4 (2001): 15-20.
  • "'Who is the Nation?' -- or 'Did Cleopatra Have Red Hair?': A Patriotic Discourse on Diversity, Nationality, and Race," MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 23, no. 4 (Winter 1998): 3-23.
  • Guest Co-Editor and "Introduction," Canadian Migration in the Great Lakes Region, special issue of Mid-America 80, no 3(Fall 1998): 160-170 (co-edited with D.R. Smith).
  • "The Image and Self-Image of Polish Americans," Polish American Studies 55, no. 2 (Autumn 1998): 63-71.
  • The Poles' Other/The Poles as Other, Fiedorczyk Lecture in Polish American Studies, 1999 (New Britain: Polish Studies Program, Central Connecticut State University, 1998).
  • "Polish Americans, Ethnicity, and Otherness," The Polish Review 43, no 3 (1998): 259-279.
  • Guest Editor and "Introduction," The Poles in America, special issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History 16, no. 1 (Fall 1996): 3-15.
  • "In Search of Clara Swieczkowska, 1892-1986--Detroit Social Worker and Community Activist," Sarmatian Review 16, no. 2 (April 1996): 385-392.
  • "The American Family and the Little Red Schoolhouse: Historians, Class, and the Problem of Curricular Diversity," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 19 (Fall 1994): 24-74 (co-authored with N. Faires/photographs by B. Harkness). Winner of the biennial William Gilbert Award for Best Article on Teaching History, American Historical Association.
  • "`Harness for Posterity the Values of a Nation'--Fifty Years of the Polish American Historical Association and Polish American Studies," Polish American Studies 50, no. 2 (Autumn 1993): 5-100.
  • "Immigration History in the United States, 1965-1990: A Selective Critical Appraisal," Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études Ethniques au Canada 33, number 2 (1991): 1-23 (co-authored with N. Faires).
  • "Metropolitan Detroit Polish-Americans: A Statistical Profile," Polish American Studies 48 (Spring 1991): 23-62 (co-authored with P. Slavcheff).
  • "The Transforming Power of the Machine: Popular Religion, Ideology, and Secularization among Polish Immigrant Workers in the United States, 1880-1940," International Labor and Working-Class History 34 (Fall 1988): 22-38. Reprinted in The Immigrant Religious Experience, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 19 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "The Poletown Case and the Future of Detroit's Neighborhoods," Michigan Quarterly Review 25 (Spring 1986): 449-458. Reprinted in Contemporary Immigration and American Society, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 20 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "Mary the Messiah: Polish Immigrant Heresy and the Malleable Ideology of the Roman Catholic Church, 1880-1930," Journal of American Ethnic History 4 (Spring 1985): 5-32. Abridged version reprinted in Disciplines of Faith: Studies in Religion, Politics and Patriarchy, ed. J. Obelkevich, L. Roper, and R. Samuel (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987), 371-389; reprinted in Urban American Catholicism: The Culture and Identity of the American Catholic People, ed. T.J. Meagher (New York: Garland Publishing, 1988); reprinted in The Immigrant Religious Experience, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 19 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "Polish Rural Culture and Immigrant Working Class Formation, 1880-1914," Polish American Studies 41 (Autumn 1984): 23-44. Winner of the Rev. Joseph Swastek Award (Best Article), Polish American Historical Association. Reprinted in The Work Experience: Labor, Class, and Immigrant Enterprise, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 6 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "The Transformation of Working-Class Ethnicity: Corporate Control, Americanization, and the Polish Immigrant Middle Class in Bayonne, N.J., 1915-1925," Labor History 25 (Winter 1984): 53-82. Winner of the Richard C. McCormick Prize for Scholarly Publication, New Jersey Historical Commission. Polish translation reprinted in Przegl_d Polonijny (Cracow) 13 (1987): 5-31; abridged version reprinted in Divided Labor: Race and Ethnicity in United States Labor Struggles, 1835-1960, ed. R. Asher and C. Stephenson (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990), 283-300, 362-368; reprinted in Americanization, Social Control, and Philanthropy, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 14 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "Decline and Fall of a Detroit Neighborhood: Poletown vs. G.M. and the City of Detroit," Washington and Lee Law Review 41 (Winter 1984): 49-76. Reprinted in Ethnic Communities: Formation and Transformation, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 3 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).
  • "The Immigrant `Community' Re-examined: Political and Economic Tensions in a Brooklyn Polish Settlement, 1888-1894," Polish American Studies 37 (Autumn 1980): 5-16. Reprinted in Ethnic Communities: Formation and Transformation, ed. G. Pozzetta, American Immigration and Ethnicity, vol. 3 (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1990-91).

 

CHAPTERS

  • "New Approaches in the Teaching of Immigration anf Etchnic History," in Handbook of American Immigation and Ethnicity, ed. Ronald H. Bayor (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 489-506.
  • "Polish American Historical Association," in Polish American Encyclopedia, ed. James S. Pula (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2011), 381-382.
  • “Introduction to the Transaction Edition,” in Hugo Münsterberg, The Americans (1904; New Brunswick, N.J., and London: Transaction Publishers, 2008), vii-xxxvii.
  • “Introduction to the Transaction Edition,” in J. Bukowczyk, A History of the Polish Americans (New Brunswick, N.J., and London: Transaction Publishers, 2008), xi-xxxv.
  • "Polish Americans," in Dictionary of American History, 3rd ed., ed. Stanley I. Kutler (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons Reference Books, 2003), 389-393.
  • "Polish Americans," in The Oxford Companion to United States History, ed. P. Boyer et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 604-605.
  • "Polish Americans, Their History Writing , and the Organization of Memory," in Polish Americans and Their History: Community, Culture, and Politics, ed. J. Bukowczyk (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), 1-38, 193-210.
  • "The Polish American Historical Association," in The Polish Diaspora: Selected Essays from the Fiftieth Anniversary International Congress of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, ed. J. Pula and M.B. Biskupski (Boulder, Colo.: East European Monograph Series, Columbia University Press, 1993), vol. 2, 99-102.
  • "Detroit: The Birth, Death, and Renaissance of an Industrial City," in Detroit Images: Photographs of the Renaissance City, ed. J. Bukowczyk and D. Aikenhead (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), 15-26.
  • "Factionalism and the Composition of the Polish Immigrant Clergy," in Pastor of the Poles: Polish American Essays, ed. S. Blejwas and M. Biskupski, Polish Studies Program Monographs, No. 1 (New Britain: Central Connecticut State College, 1982), 37-47.

 

REVIEW ESSAYS

  • "Who Is a Person? What Is a Right? Revolutionary Constitutionalism and the Racial Nation": Symposium on David Richards, Italian American: The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity," in Connecticut History 40, no.1 (Spring 2001): 83-94.
  • "Whither Immigration History -- A Comment," Polish American Studies 55, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 93-97.
  • "And My Children Did Not Know Me: In Response," Sarmatian Review 16, no. 3 (September 1996): 419-420.
  • "Empiricists and Photographs: The Illusion of Images," Michigan Photography Journal (1992): 5, 14, 15.
  • "Migration and Capitalism: A Review Essay," International Labor and Working-Class History 36 (Fall 1989): 61-75.
  • "The Transplanted: Immigrants and Ethnics," Social Science History 12 (Fall 1988): 233-241.
  • "The Church and the Immigrant City: A Review Essay," Journal of Urban History 13 (February 1987): 207-217.
  • "Immigrants and Their Communities: A Review Essay," International Labor and Working Class History no. 25 (Spring 1984): 47-57.

Currently Teaching

  • HIS 2050, United States Since 1977 (4 cr.)

  • HIS/AFS 3170/6170, Race and Ethnicity in American Life (3 cr.)

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

  • Director, Canadian Studies Program (1998-2010).
  • Editor, Journal of American Ethnic History (2004-2017), published by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society
  • Editor, Polish and Polish-American Studies Series, Ohio University Press