Erickson, Ansley T. (ate11)

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Erickson, Ansley
Associate Professor of History and Education
Arts & Humanities

334G HMann

Office Hours:
On Sabbatical 2017-2018

Educational Background

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 urban and metropolitan history. Her first book, Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits (University of Chicago Press, 2016) tells the story of persistent inequality in Nashville, Tennesee's metropolitan school district during periods of segregation and desegregation. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Education, History of Education Quarterly, Journal of Urban History, and Teachers College Record (forthcoming). In fall 2017, she is a Scholar in Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library

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 in 20th century Harlem. Educating Harlem includes an edited volume under contract with Columbia University Press, a digital history project, and youth participatory history program.

Erickson was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow in 2011-2013, and has held research fellowships from the Spencer Foundation and the Eisenhower Institute among others. She currently serves on the editorial board of the History of Education Quarterly and Theory and Research in Education, and was chair of the History of Education Society Outstanding Book Prize committee in 2015-16.

Earlier in her career, Erickson taught history and conducted ethnographic research in New York City schools and worked at two national education organizations. She also has experience in historical documentary film and public history consulting.
Prizes: History of Education Society Prize, 2016 (with co-author Andrew Highsmith); Bancroft Dissertation Prize, 2010; History of Education Society's Claude A. Eggertsen Dissertation Prize, 2011. 

Scholarly Interests

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

Selected Publications

Erickson, A. Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016). 

Erickson, A. “Desegregation’s Architects: Education Parks and the Spatial Ideology of Schooling,” History of Education Quarterly, November 2016. 

Erickson, A. "Case Study as Common Text: Collaborating in and Broadening the Reach of History of Education," History of Education Quarterly, February, 2016. 

Erickson, A. "Affordable Housing, Public Transit, A Mayoral Runoff, Racially Separated Schools. Welcome to Nashville - In 1971." Nashville Scene, August 13, 2015. 

Highsmith, A. and Erickson, A. "Segregation as Splitting and Joining: Schools, Housing, and the Many Modes of Jim Crow," American Journal of Education, August, 2015. 

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

Erickson, A. "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

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

Erickson, A. "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) 

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."


Related Articles

The Rhetoric of Choice: Segregation, Desegregation, and Charter Schools

Writing in the fall 2011 issue of Dissent Magazine, TC's Ansley Erickson argues that a common thread links the current rhetoric of "school choice"and opposition to court-ordered busing for desegregation 40 years ago.


New Faculty Member Wins Bancroft Dissertation Prize

Ansley Erickson has received the prestigious Bancroft Dissertation Award, given by Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for outstanding Columbia dissertations in American History (including biography), diplomacy, or international affairs for outstanding Columbia dissertations in American History (including biography), diplomacy, or international affairs.


A Group of TC Faculty Condemns the Release of Teacher Evaluations Based on Student Test Scores

Group of TC Faculty Condemn the Release of Teacher Evaluations Based on Student Test Scores