Tracy Neumann

Tracy Neumann

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Public History and Internships


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. Neumann is an editor of the Global Urban History blog and the Elements in Global Urban History series. She is also an affiliate of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative.  

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Modern U.S. History
  • Global 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, and the Ford 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.


  • 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

  • Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University, 2018

  • Career Development Chair, Wayne State University, 2018

  • Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, Wayne State University, 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, 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 and essays

Currently teaching

HIS 7832, History Practicum (3 cr.), Winter 2022

  • HIS/US 3650, History of Detroit (3 cr.), Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2021, Fall 2021
  • HIS 5665/7665, Global Cities (3 cr.), Fall 2017
  • HIS 5670/7670, Modern American Cities (4 cr.), Winter 2017, Winter 2019
  • HIS 7830, Methods and Research in History (3 cr.), Fall 2016
  • HIS 7832, History Practicum (3 cr.), Winter 2020, Winter 2022
  • HIS 7835, Public History (3 cr.), Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022