Dr. Joshua Salzmann
Associate Professor; Associate Chair
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-5632
Joshua Salzmann teaches classes on the history of cities, the environment, and crime and violence in the United States. His book "Liquid Capital: Making the Chicago Waterfront" examines how policymakers and business leaders forged public-private partnerships to create a landscape conducive to capital accumulation — and, in the process, set powerful precedents for environmental protection and regulation of industry. Salzmann has published articles in academic journals including: LABOR; Enterprise and Society; and the Journal of Illinois History. His writings have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, In These Times, and Smithsonian Magazine. His current research is about the history of gun control in Chicago and Washington D.C. since the 1960s.
Courses Taught
FYE 109: History of Chicago
Hist 214: American History, 1607 - 1877
Hist 215: United States History, 1877-Present
Hist 300W: Writing and Methods for History Majors
Hist 334: History of American Sports
Hist 335: History of Crime and Violence
Hist 342: The City in American History
Hist 346: Environmental History
Hist 393: Capstone Research Seminar
Hist 434: Graduate Readings in 20th Century U.S. History
Hist 435: American Cultural and Intellectual History
Hist 439: Graduate Readings in 20th Century U.S Social History
Hist 444: Graduate Research Seminar
Research Interests
The History of Cities, Capitalism, and Natural and Built Environments

University of Illinois at Chicago

History, Ph.D., 2008

Selected Publications


“Liquid Capital: Making the Chicago Waterfront” (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

Winner of 2018 Superior Achievement Award, Illinois State Historical Society

Honorable Mention in 2019 Jon Gjerde Prize competition, Midwest History Association

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:

“Blood on the Tracks: Accidental Death and the Built Environment,” in City of Lake and Prairie: Chicago’s Environmental History, eds. William C. Barnett, Kathleen A. Brosnan, and Ann Durkin Keating (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).

“Bionic Ballplayers: Risk, Profit, and the Body as Commodity, 1964-2007,” (co-authored with Sarah Rose) LABOR: Studies in the Working-Class History of the Americas 11 (Spring 2014): 47-75.

Winner of 2016 biennial “Best Article Prize,” Labor and Working Class History Association

“The Creative Destruction of the Chicago River Harbor: Spatial and Environmental Dimensions of Industrial Capitalism, 1881-1909,” Enterprise and Society: The International Journal of Business History 13 (June 2012): 235-275.

“The Lakefront’s Last Frontier: The Turnerian Mythology of Streeterville, 1886-1961,” The Journal of Illinois History 9 (Fall 2006): 201-214.

Room LWH 4094
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-5632
Office Hours
Email for appointment
Main Campus
Curriculum Vitae