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Jeffrey Manuel

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Associate Professor
Peck Hall 3218
Office Phone: 618-650-2836


Jeffrey T. Manuel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A native of Anoka, Minnesota, Manuel received his BA in history and economics from Northwestern University in 2001 and his PhD in history from the University of Minnesota in 2009.

Manuel's research interests focus on the history of industry, energy, and the American Midwest. Manuel's book, Taconite Dreams: The Struggle to Sustain Mining on Minnesota's Iron Range, 1915-2000, was published by the University of Minnesota Press. His research on the history of the iron ore industry has also appeared in Technology and Culture and several forthcoming edited collections. This research has been supported by grants and fellowships including a STEP Grant from SIUE's Office of Research and Projects and the Norman Johnson Dewitt Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.

Manuel's current research--tentatively titled Agrarian Energy: Alcohol Fuels and Critiques of America's Oil Century--explores the history of fuel alcohol (or ethanol) in the United States from the 1830s to the present.

Manuel is also active in public and oral history. His work as a public historian has appeared in Radical History Review and he has served as curator and online producer for historical exhibitions in Minnesota and Illinois. He has worked with students to interpret the 1918 lynching of Robert Prager in Collinsville, Illinois, and he is a co-editor of Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois.

Research Focus

Twentieth Century United States History
Resource Industries
History of Deindustrialization
Energy and Ethanol History
Public History and Museum Studies 
Oral History

Courses Taught

U.S. History and Constitution, 1877 to Present
History of Technology
Industry as History, Politics, and Memory
Historical Research
U.S. History in the Twentieth Century, 1945-Present
Oral History
Public History
Careers in History
Graduate Seminar in Twentieth Century U.S. History
Practicum in Exhibition Development
Energy and Environment in U.S. History
Graduate Core Seminar in History and Theory

Selected Publications

Book and Book Chapters

Taconite Dreams: The Struggle to Sustain Mining on Minnesota's Iron Range, 1915-2000. University of Minnesota Press, 2015. Winner of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Hamlin Garland Award from the Midwestern History Association.

"Efficiency, Economics, and Environmentalism: Low-Grade Iron Ore Mining in the Lake Superior District, 1913-2010." In Mining North America: An Environmental History since 1522. Edited by J. R. McNeill and George Vrtis. University of California Press, 2017.


"Iowa's Original Ethanol Debate: The Power Alcohol Movement of 1933-1934." Annals of Iowa 77, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 41-78.

With Matthew Schunke. "Meeting Students Where They Are Online But Leading Them Somewhere More Interesting: Reflections on Teaching the Facebook Class." College Teaching 64, no. 3 (2016): 112-118.

"Mr. Taconite: Edward W. Davis and the Promotion of Low-Grade Iron Ore, 1913-1955." Technology and Culture 54, no. 2 (2013): 317-45. [Requires login]

With Rebecca Amato. "Using Radical Public History Tours to Reframe Urban Crime," Radical History Review, no. 113 (2012): 212-24.

"Rethinking the Social in Social Studies," The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies 71, no. 2 (2010): 1-11.

With Andrew T. Urban. "'You Can't Legislate the Heart': Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig and the Politics of Law and Order." American Studies 49, no. 3/4 (2008): 195-219.

With Lisa Blee, Caley Horan, Brian Tochterman, Andrew Urban, and Julie Weiskopf. "Engaging with Public Engagement: Public History and Graduate Pedagogy." Radical History Review 102 (2008): 73-89. [Requires login]

" The Sound of the Plain White Folk? Creating Country Music's 'Social Origins.'" Popular Music and Society 31, no. 4 (2008): 417-31. [Requires login]

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