Robert Gioielli

Robert R. Gioielli

Associate Professor

Associate Professor of History and Director of the UC Blue Ash Honors Program

Professional Summary

I am an environmental and urban historian whose work focuses on the intersections of social and environmental issues in the American city, especially when it comes to racial and class inequalities. I also have a significant interest in the origins and development of environmental activism, both in the United States and around the globe, and how environmental politics has both created and reinforced other inequalities and hierarchies. 

My teaching is focused on American and environmental history. In the classroom I work to help students understand how historical thinking is a vital tool for understanding their contemporary world. My environmental history classes in particular are focused on experiential learning, and encouraging students to get involved in the greater Cincinnati community through research, volunteering and service learning. Courses I have taught include American History, Global Environmental History, Race and the Environment, and Environmental Activism. I am also firmly committed to international education, and have taught through the University Study Abroad Consortium in Chengdu, China. 

Finally, I am also the director of the UCBA Honors Program, and work to provide a tremendous experience for all of our honors students. 

Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis: Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, May 2014. Paperback July 2015. 
Refereed Articles and Book Chapters  
“Pruitt-Igoe in the Suburbs: Connecting White Flight, Sprawl and Climate Change in Metropolitan America” for “Bounded Democracy,” special issue of American Studies/Amerikastudien, edited by Bryant Simon and Anke Ortlepp. December 2020. 
“Don’t Do it in the Lake: Gordon Sherman and the Public Interest in Postwar Chicago,” for City of Lake and Prairie: Chicago’s Environmental History, William Barnett, Kathleen Brosnan and Ann Durkin Keating, eds. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020.

“Environmental and Conservation Movements in Urban America,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History, edited by Jon Butler. Oxford University Press. Published online October 2018.
“Not Quite Suburban: Progressive Politics in Postwar Chicago” in Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs: History, Politics, and Prospects, edited by Christopher Niedt. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013.
 “We Must Destroy You to Save You: Highway Construction and the City as a Modern Commons,” Radical History Review, Issue 109, Theme: “Enclosure,” Winter 2011.
“How can any community be expected to accept such a scar?: The Movement Against Destruction and Environmental Activism in Postwar Baltimore,” in Common Ground: Integrating the Social and Environmental in History, edited by Genevieve Massard-Guilbaud and Stephen Mosley. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2011.
“Get the Lead Out: Environmental Politics in 1970s St. Louis,” Journal of Urban History, 36 (4), May 2010.
Public History Projects
Over-the-Rhine Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, Board Member 2015-present; Chair 2019-present.
Rethinking Porkopolis: Cincinnati and the Ecology of Slavery museum exhibition and speaker series in partnership with the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Cincinnati, OH. September to December 2016. Project director, chief historian and curato


PhD: University of Cincinnati 2008 (History )

Research Support

05-2014 -08-2014 UC University of Cincinnati University Research Council Faculty Summer Stipend Role:PI $8,000.00 Completed Level:University

Grant: #R40760 04-01-2021 -04-30-2022 UC Race, Sprawl and Sustainability: How the American Way of City Building is Destroying the Planet $9,850.00 Active Type:Grant Level:University

09-01-2021 -12-31-2022 American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Foundation Community College Faculty Fellowship Race, Sprawl and Sustainability: How the American Way of City Building is Destroying the Planet Role:PI 40,000 Active Type:Fellowship Level:National

09-2021 -05-2021 UC Digital Scholarship Center Mellon/Catalyst Award Race and Climate Mapping Project $12,500 Active Type:Grant Level:University

03-2019 -08-2019 Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society Society of Fellows Alumni Fellowship $10,000 Completed Type:Fellowship Level:International

Contact Information

Phone: 513-558-1659