Dr Andrew Heath
Lecturer in American History
19th century US history; urban history
+44 (0)114 22 22575 | Jessop West room 2.08
Semester One 2018/19 Office Hours: Mondays 11:00-12:00 and Tuesdays 14:00-15:00 or by appointment
Andrew Heath joined the History Department in 2008. After growing up on the outskirts of Bristol, he read History from 1997 to 2001 at University College London, before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Bristol University.
Andrew's research interests lie primarily in the political, urban, and social history of the Nineteenth-Century United States. His thesis, which won the 2008 Urban History Association Prize for the best dissertation in Urban History, explores how imperial expansion, national consolidation, and economic development shaped the reconstruction of Philadelphia in the decades either side of the Civil War as citizens vied to make their city the main node between Europe and Asia: the London and Paris of America. An expanded and rewritten version of the project, In Union There Is Strength: Philadelphia in an Age of Urban Consolidation, will appear in January 2019 with University of Pennsylvania Press. He has also written on transatlantic working-class radicalism and authoritarian ideas in the Reconstruction-era U.S.
Andrew won the Student Union Academic Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and a Senate Award for Early Career teaching in 2013. He has been longlisted for the Student Union awards in teaching and personal tutoring several times. Alongside running modules on nineteenth-century U.S. history, he lectures on Paths from Antiquity to Modernity and Cities.
My work lies primarily in the political, social, and spatial history of nineteenth-century North America, though I also have comparative interests in late twentieth-century urban industrial society. With Dan Scroop (Glasgow), I have edited a volume on transatlantic history, and much of my research now seeks to situate the United States in a wider world.
My first book, In Union There Is Strength: Philadelphia in Age of Urban Consolidation, will appear with University of Pennsylvania Press at the start of 2019. Beginning amid social and sectional crisis in the 1840s, and ending in the strikes and economic stagnation of the 1870s, the volume explores how a generation of Americans navigated years of civil wars, which extended from northern fields to southern streets. Intoxicated by the growth of their city and nation, but terrified by the prospect of each falling apart, they searched for methods to bind unstable societies together. 'In Union There Is Strength' became a rallying cry not just for patriots concerned about the dissolution of the United States, but also urban residents who came to see their city as a miniature of the nation at large. Moving from the streets of Philadelphia to Parisian boulevards, European socialist experiments, and attempts to democratize American capitalism, the book shows how the path to modernizing the second biggest metropolis in the mid-nineteenth-century United States included some surprising waystations.
My next project, Let the Empire Come: Monarchy, Modernity, and Conspiracy in Reconstruction Era America builds outwards from a short-lived but wildly-popular newspaper from post-Civil War New York that proposed replacing the republic with a polity somewhere between the constitutional monarchy of Victorian Britain and the highly-centralised state of Bonapartist France. I am using this weekly journal as a lens onto debates about the relationship of democracy, authoritarianism, and modernity in an age in which 'modern kingship', as one writer put it, seemed to offer a firmer foundation for national consolidation than popular sovereignty. My research here considers the dissenting Americans who wondered whether a crowned head – and not the republic – lay at the 'end of history'. The first article from this research will appear in Civil War History in June 2014, and I am currently turning the research into a book that explores monarchy as one of the less likely 'Atlantic Crossings' in an era of liberal reform.
I am interested in digital history initiatives and helped to set up the American History Research Wiki to collect links to and critical appraisals of the hundreds of free online digital archive collections exploring aspects of the American past.
I am happy to supervise students working on urban history or the political and social history of the nineteenth-century United States. I am also interested in supervising projects with a transnational or comparative dimension.. I also teach and supervise on our MA in American History.
In Union There Is Strength: Philadelphia in an Age of Urban Consolidation (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming January 2019).
With Daniel Scroop (eds.), Transatlantic Social Politics, 1800-Present (London: Palgrave, 2014).
'"Let the Empire Come": Imperialism and Its Critics in the Reconstruction South', Civil War History 60 (June 2014), 152-89.
'"Every Man His Own Landlord": Working-class Suburban Speculation and the Antebellum Republican City', Journal of Urban History 38 (November 2012), 1003-20.
'"The Producers on the One Side, and the Capitalists on the Other": Labor Reform, Slavery, and the Career of a Transatlantic Radical, 1838-1873', American Nineteenth-Century History 13 (Summer 2012), 1-29.
'The Public Interest of the Private City: The Pennsylvania Railroad, Urban Space, and Philadelphia's Economic Elite, 1846-1877', Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 79 (Spring 2012), 177-208.
'Small Men, Best Men, and the Big City: Reconstructing Political Culture in Antebellum Philadelphia', in Adam I. P. Smith and Daniel Peart (eds.), Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from The Constitution to the Civil War (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015).
'Introduction' (with Daniel Scroop) and 'Chapter 2: Paris, Philadelphia, and the Question of the Nineteenth-Century City', in Daniel Scroop and Andrew Heath (eds.), Transatlantic Social Politics: 1800-Present (London: Palgrave, 2014), 1-17 and 43-73.
'"In Union There is Strength": City-Building and Nation-Building in Civil War-Era Philadelphia, 1844-1865', in Iwan Morgan (ed.), Reconfiguring the Union: Civil War Transformations (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), 101-24.
'Consolidation Act of 1854', 'The Mayoralty', 'Philadelphia County', and 'Street Numbering', in Howard Gillette, Charlene Mires, Randall Miller, and Gary Nash (eds.), Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (Online 2013-2018; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming).
'Philadelphia 1828-1854, 1854-1876, and 1876-1896', in Richard Dilworth (ed.), Cities in American Political History (Washington D.C.: CQ Press, 2011), 163-9, 222-7, and 298-304.
'Labor and Unions', in Christopher Bates (ed.), The Early Republic and Antebellum America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, Volume 1 (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2010).
'Virtual Roundtable on an Absence of Empire: American Urban History and the Incorporation of Imperialism', NeoAmericanist (2010)
Book reviews for American Nineteenth-Century History, Gender and History, Journal of American Studies, Law and Policy Review, Urban History.
Liner notes for The Payroll Union album 'The Mule and the Elephant'.
Andrew supervises a student-led oral history project, Witness, which explores life in Sheffield. This is part of the wider History in the City project. Interested students are encouraged to contact him.
In The Media
Andrew is a regular contributor to the department's History Matters blog. His work on Philadelphia was used in the production of the PBS/ABC documentary series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, on which he also appeared.