Glen Gendzel

Glen Gendzel

Professor and Chair






Current Research Activities

I am interested in the historical intersection of American politics, economics, and culture, especially in California. I studied U.S. political history in graduate school, and then I started out researching California's progressive movement in the early twentieth century, but I've always been broadly interested in U.S. politics and culture from the Civil War to the present. Also foreign policy, political economy, social memory, and pro sports. Teaching a lot of different subjects has spread my interests widely. Lately I've been researching American nativism (i.e., anti-immigrant movements) and Irish American immigration. My publications and recent presentations are listed at

Research Connections to Current Events

Coming to SJSU has brought me back in range of archives and libraries that are useful for California history research. It has also brought me into contact with lots of interesting, intellectually stimulating colleagues in multiple departments. A lot of new research ideas come from informal discussions with friends, sharing ideas, swapping information, and so on. Living and working in such a marvelously diverse place has also kindled my recent research interests in immigration and nativism.

Personal Connections to Research

I got interested in California history when I was in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin and I realized that I was learning a lot about the history of various northern and southern states, but almost nothing about my home state of California. Reading so much about colonial New England, slavery in the Old South, land wars in the West, industrialization and urbanization in the North, etc., made me curious about what was happening in California. I also strategized that specializing in California history might enable me to return home to teach the subject some day, and eventually, after many stops along the way, it worked out.