Eric in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, one of his favorite haunts.
Eric Michael Rhodes studies the twentieth-century history of cities, segregation, urban planning, metropolitics, and capitalism. His main interests are in uneven development and spatial inequality, throughout the transnational North Atlantic. He regularly employs GIS cartography in his work.
Eric's current project explores the deindustrialization and "postindustrialization" of Southeast Texas and the rusting Steel Belt during the 1970s and 1980s, with a focus on the environmental inequalities produced by the petrochemical industry. He is also writing a book chapter on the historiography of deindustrialization in France.
During the 2020-2021 academic year, he is a fellow at the Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast at Lamar University. Eric is also a researcher for the Environment and Deindustrialization Initiative at the Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time Partnership, supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada—a seven-year project involving academics, trade unionists, and cultural practitioners from six countries in North America and Europe. Beginning in September 2021, he will begin an annotated bibliography of radical trade union activist biographies (written by US, Canadian, British, and French organizers) under the direction of Steven High. He is a Book Review Editor at The Metropole, the official blog of the Urban History Association.
Eric earned his BA at Antioch College and his MA in history at Miami University. His thesis was a metropolitan history of the nation's first operable fair share housing policy and the emergence of the suburban "race for profit" in Dayton, Ohio. As a lecturer at the University of Angers in France during the 2019-2020 academic year, Eric taught the history of New York City and documentary film at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to teaching at both French and British high schools, Eric has worked as an associate editor of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, as co-host of the podcast History Talk, as a production assistant at Hyrax Films, and as an archival assistant at the Walter Havinghurst Special Collections, the National Archives, Creative Time, The Kitchen, and Oral History in the Liberal Arts. His written work has appeared in Belt Magazine, The Middle West Review, H-FedHist, the National Archives' Pieces of History, The Metropole, The Cleveland Review of Books, Origins, New Jersey Studies, and Tropics of Meta. He has written chapters for The Making of the Midwest: Essays on the Formation of Midwestern Identity, 1787 to 1900 (Hastings College Press, 2020) and for the edited collections The Dayton Anthology (Belt Publishing, December 2020) and, with Jacob Bruggeman of Johns Hopkins, Where East Meets (Mid)West: Exploring a Regional Divide (Kent State University Press, 2021). He has been featured in radio interviews by WYSO (Dayton's NPR affiliate) and WCPN in Cleveland.
Apart from his historical works, Eric is active in independent documentary. He has screened his documentaries (which deal with memory, political economy, and archival materials) at Cincinnati's Mini Microcinema. Eric also has credits in Cullen Hoback's What Lies Upstream, and he worked with Charles Fairbanks on The Modern Jungle.
In his free time, Eric enjoys eating ice cream and exploring cemeteries. He lives in New York City.