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Ansley T. Erickson

Professional Background

Educational Background

MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University
BA, Brown University

Affiliated faculty member, Columbia University Department of History 
Affiliated faculty member, Institute for Urban and Minority Education

Ansley T. Erickson is a historian who focuses on educational inequality and the interaction between schooling, urban and metropolitan space, and economic change. She earned her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Columbia University in May, 2010, and was awarded an NAE/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2011-13. Her manuscript in progress, Schooling the Metropolis: Educational Inequality Made and Remade reveals how private and public agendas for economic growth and spatial transformations in the city shaped educational inequality by race and class, through an examination of the case of Nashville, Tennessee. The book is under contract with the University of Chicago Press, and the dissertation on which it is based was awarded Columbia's Bancroft Dissertation Prize for 2010 and won the History of Education Society's Claude A. Eggertsen Dissertation Prize for 2011.

With Professor Ernest Morrell of TC's Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Erickson leads the Educating Harlem project, a collaborative investigation into the history of education, broadly defined, in 20th century Harlem. Educating Harlem includes a speaker series, scholarly conference, digital history project, and youth participatory history program.

Erickson has been awarded fellowships from the Spencer Foundation, the Eisenhower Institute, and the Mrs. Giles A. Whiting Foundation, as well as several research and travel grants. Prior to Teachers College, she taught in the Cultural Foundations of Education department at Syracuse University.

Before graduate school, Erickson taught history and conducted ethnographic research in New York City schools and was a project manager at two national school reform organizations. She also has experience in historical documentary film and public history consulting.

Scholarly Interests

History of Education in the United States
Educational Policy
Educational Inequality
Urban and Metropolitan History

Selected Publications

"Slavery and American Colleges: Historical Entanglements that Matter for Understanding Inequality Today," Teachers College Record, May 31, 2014. 

"Historical Research and the Problem of Categories: Reflections on 10,000 Digital Notecards, in Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, eds. Writing History: How Historians Research, Write, and Publish in the Digital Age. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013) and

"The Rhetoric of Choice: Segregation, Desegregation, and Charter Schools." Dissent. (Fall 2011) and reprinted in Michael Katz and Mike Rose, eds. Public Education Under Siege. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) 

"Building Inequality: The Spatial Organization of Schooling in Nashville, TN, after Brown." Journal of Urban History, Vol. 38, No. 2 (March 2012), 247-270.

"Why We Should Pay Renewed Attention to School Segregation." ISERP Quarterly Newsletter, Columbia University, Spring 2011. (with Heather Schwartz)


Research Support 

Provost's Investment Fund, Teachers College, Columbia, 2012-13

NAE/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011-13

Clifford Roberts/Eisenhower Institute Dissertation Fellowship, 2009-10

Mrs. Giles A. Whiting Fellowship, 2009-10 (declined to accept Eisenhower)

Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, 2007-2009

Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, 2007-9

Archival and Oral History Research Support

Buell Oral History Research Grant

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library Moody Research Fellowship

Tennessee Historical Society Wills Research Grant

Other Support

Maxine Greene Foundation and the Fund for Teachers, for "Crossing Town: Brown's Legacy in Nashville."

personal news

A&HH 4070: History of Education in the United States

Professors Waite, Erickson, or Weneck. Considers the development of American education in the context of American social and intellectual history.

A&HH 4901: Research and independent study

Faculty. Permission of instructor required.

Documents & Papers

Download: Erickson CV [PDF]

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