Department of History

Dr. S. Paul O'Hara

Associate Professor, History Department

Courses frequently taught:

Historical Perspectives: Immigration to America
Historical Perspectives: Appalachia and the Upland South
US: Contact to the Civil War
US: Civil War to the present 
Civil War and Reconstruction
Age of Big Business, 1869-1912
America and the Great Depression
Sports and Leisure in the US


modern US, cultural and immigration

Professional Interests

Modern US History, Industrialization and Deindustrialization, Immigration and Migration, Folklore and Narrative, Cultures of capitalism


  • PhD (Indiana University, Bloomington, 2007)
  • BA (University of Minnesota, 1997)


  • Inventing the Pinkertons, or, Spies, Sleuths, Mercenaries and Thugs: being a story of the nation’s most famous (and infamous) detective agency (2016)
  • Gary, the Most American of all American Cities (2011)
  • “The Very Model of Urban Decay: Outsider Narratives of Industry and Urban Decline in Gary, Indiana,” The Journal of Urban History (March 2011)
  • “Model Cities, Mill Towns, and Industrial Peripheries: Small Industrial Cities in 20th-Century America” in After the Factory: Reinventing America’s Industrial Small Cities, ed., James Connolly (2010).
  • “Envisioning the Steel City: The Legend and Legacy of Gary, Indiana,” in Beyond the Ruins: the Meanings of Deindustrialization, ed., Jefferson Cowie and Joseph Heathcott (2003)