Gregory Umbach

Gregory Umbach

Assistant Professor
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PhD     Cornell University
MA       Cornell University
BA        Northwestern University


Greg ("Fritz") Umbach is assistant professor of History. He received his PhD in American History from Cornell University, where he was the recipient of the John M. and Emily B. Clark Distinguished Teaching Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in the College of Arts and Science.  He has published in both popular and scholarly journals on a wide variety of topics, including public housing, crime, New York's Chinatown, and consumer culture.  His second book, Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social Policy (Cornell, 2014) won the International Planning History Society Book Award in 2015.  His first book, The Last Neighborhood Cops: The Rise and Fall of Community Police in New York's Public Housing (Rutgers, 2011) explored the history of policing and crime in the New York City Housing Authority.  Umbach has also won, along with colleagues from the City University of New York, two National Endowment for the Humanities pedagogy grants. He has consulted for the New York City Police Department, the New York City Housing Authority, and the Vera Institute. He has has been interviewed and quoted on crime, housing and other topics in leading national and regional media sources including WNYC, The New York Times, and NPR.   He has also directed several scholarly archives including Gathered in Time: Utah Quilts and Their Makers: Settlement to 1950Ground One: Voices from Post-911 Chinatown; and The September 11 Digital Archive both recently accessioned by the Library of Congress as that institution's first major digital acquisitions. He also served as the historical consultant (and appears in) a documentary on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade by New Yorker Films that accompanies the North American DVD release of Adanggaman, a film by the Ivory Coast director Roger Gnoan M'Bala.

His forthcoming book explores the history of crime and policing in New York City since 1964.

He regularly takes his students kayaking on the Hudson.



Public housing; crime; post-war New York City; history of the Church of Latter-Day Saints