Selected Articles and Essays

“Dreiser’s Trilogy of Desire:  The Financier as Artist,” Canadian Review of American    Studies 7 (1976), 151-62

“James’s Travels, Travel Writings, and the Development of his Art,” Modern Language    Quarterly 38 (1977), 367-80

“Fearsome Fiction and the Windy City; or, Chicago in the Dime Novel,” Chicago History 7 (Spring, 1978), 2-11

“The Boxing Paintings of Thomas Eakins,” Prospects:  An Annual of American Cultural
4 (1978), 402-419

“James’s International Fiction:  Sources and Evolution,” Centennial Review 23 (1979),

“Insight and Irony:  The Literary Heritage of the White City,” in 1992 World’s Fair Forum Papers, Vol. 1: Legacies From Chicago’s World’s Fairs:  A Background for Fair Planning (Evanston:  Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, 1984)

“Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief:  The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire,” Yale Review 74 (1984), 79-95

“Cataclysm and Cultural Consciousness:  Chicago and the Haymarket Trial,” Chicago History 15 (Summer, 1986), 36-53.  Reprinted in Rosemary Adams, ed., A Wild Kind of Boldness:  The Chicago History Reader(Chicago:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company and The Chicago Historical Society, 1998), pp. 96-109.

“The Bomb on Trial:  The Haymarket Accused and the Debate Over American Urban
Community,” The Newberry Papers in Family and Community History, Paper 87-    2 (1987)

“Understanding an Earthquake,” Baltimore Sun Sunday Perspective, October 22, 1989

“Fantasy, Reality, and the Dying of Another Season,” Chicago Tribune, October 31, 1989 Foreword toFairground Fiction: Detective Stories of the World’s Columbian Exposition, edited by Donald K. Hartman (Kenmore, N.Y.: Motif Press, 1992), pp. vii-xiv

“Pursuing the American Cultural Imagination:  Technology’s Challenges and Opportunities,” Educators’ Tech Exchange (Winter 1994), 15-22

“The Day After,” Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1995

“The Imaginative Dimensions of Urban History,” Urban History Association Newsletter 14 (October, 1995), 1-2

“The Perils and Promise of a Digital Museum Show,” Chronicle of Higher Education,
Vol. LIII, No. 23 (February 14, 1997), B8-9

“Can You Do Serious History on the Web?” Perspectives (American Historical Association Newsletter) 36 (February, 1998), 5-8; also available at

“Point of View:  Beware the Pitfalls of Letters of Recommendation,” Chronicle of Higher  Education, Vol. XLIV, No. 28 (March 20, 1998), p. A56

“Cybercityscapes:  Reflections on Electronic Urban History,” 3 Cities Project (2000)

“When a Professor Ages…and His Students Don’t,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. XLVII, No. 22 (February 9, 2001), p. B20

“The Far Side of Paradise:  California, Florida, and the Landscape of Catastrophe,”     American Literary History 13 (2001), 354-375

“Faith and Doubt:  The Imaginative Dimensions of the Great Chicago Fire,” in Steven Biel, ed., American Disasters (New York:  New York University Press, 2001), pp. 129-169

“Where All the Trains Ran:  Chicago,” in special issue, “Early Cities of the Americas,” Common-Place 3 (July 2003),

“The Jeremiad:  A Silver Lining,” Chicago Tribune “Perspective” section, September 7, 2003

“Uncreative License,” review of Martin Duberman, Haymarket, Chicago Tribune “Books” section, January 11, 2004, pp. 1, 4.

“Creating an Interdisciplinary Course in History and Computer Science” (with Brian Dennis and Jonathan Smith), Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. L, No. 32 (pp. B9-B11

“Using Technology, Making History:  A Collaborative Experiment in Interdisciplinary Teaching and Scholarship” (with Brian Dennis and Jonathan Smith), Rethinking History 8 (2004), 303-317

“‘The Best Thing’:  The Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett Collections and the 1909 Plan of Chicago,” in Art Through the Pages:  Library Collections at the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago:  The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 2008), pp. 67-70.