Skip to main content


Todd Uhlman

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: History


Email: Todd Uhlman
Phone: 937-229-2834


  • Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2008
  • B.A., Indiana University, 1998


Dr. James Todd Uhlman is an Assistant Professor of U.S. socio-cultural history at the University of Dayton. He received his PhD at Rutgers where he studied under T. J. Jackson Lears and Michael Adas. He has been a fellow at the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the National Endowment of the Humanities. During his career he has received support for his scholarship from a variety of institutions most recently a 2019 SEED grant.

His research interests revolve around the history of mobility, identity formation, capitalism, popular culture, and structures of power such as gender, class and race. His publications have appeared in the pages of literary, historical, and interdisciplinary journals including American Nineteenth Century History, Studies in Travel Writing, and The Journal of Popular Culture. One of his most recent articles is “Dispatching Anglo Saxonism: Whiteness and the Crises of American Racial Identity in Richard Harding Davis’ Reports on the Boer War" was published by the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era at the beginning of 2020. Another recently appeared in the pages of Automotive History Review. Titled "Truck Driver's Blues" it is a history of trucker music.

Currently he is at work on a number of long-term projects. His book Highways to Hell: Movies, Music, and Trucking Culture is a case study in the link between pop-culture, ideology, and U.S. politics. Developing out of a paper delivered at Oxford University, Dr. Uhlman has laid the groundwork for a book examining U.S. diplomatic relations with Russia during the Civil War. He has written a study currently used by his students in his film history course titled Nation of Light: Film and the Social, Cultural, and Political Rise of Modern America. Other work in progress include an expanded version of an essay that appears on Dayton History Project website (see below) to be titled Overtime: The History of an Arena and the Transformation of a University, City, and Nation. Like the original, this projected study examines the economic and social interconnections between the University of Dayton and the City of Dayton in the post-war era. And finally, a monograph study based on his dissertation research titled Bayard Taylor and the Cultural Work of Mobility in the Political Economy of Nineteenth Century American Capitalism.

Dr. Uhlman began teaching in Japan in the early 1990s where he received teaching and administrative awards while working at major Japanese language school and the American High School in Japan. While a graduate student at Rutgers he served at a “Gateway Instructor” for incoming probationary students in need of education assistance. He taught Japanese, Chinese, and Comparative-Transnational history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At the University of Dayton Dr. Uhlman teaches classes in U.S. social and cultural history including courses examining subcultures, film, cultural icons, and capitalism. There he also served for many years as the Director of the American Studies Program.

In 2018 Dr. Uhlman piloted a series of courses in which students work collectively to research, write, and build websites on topics. The courses have evolved into the Dayton History Project, a connected series of history websites that feature original student research and have the goal of teaching historical methods to visitors and K-12 students through case studies.

For examples see, and Websites under development include “UD Campus Activism in the 1960s” and “The 1918 Pandemic in Dayton.”

He has published several essays describing the use of immersive, experiential learning methods to teach vocation. These essays include: “Writing the History of the Dayton Arcade: Experiential Learning through Immersion, Collaboration, and Service" and his forthcoming essay “Learning the Social Benefits and Personal Rewards of Producing History: Developing Vocational Wisdom by Conducting Group History Projects.” In 2021 five of his students will publish original essays on the history of the Dayton Arcade in a special edition of the Ohio History Journal accompanied by introduction by Dr. Uhlman titled “The Dayton History Project: Bridging the Gap between Campus and Community with Original Research Digital History.”