Dr Julia Guarneri

Associate Professor of American History
Dr Julia Guarneri

I am a social and cultural historian of the United States. Before joining the Cambridge Faculty of History in 2015, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh as an ACLS New Faculty Fellow, at Colgate University as a visiting professor, and at City College in Manhattan as an adjunct professor. I completed my PhD at Yale and my BA at Cornell University.

My book, Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is a history of daily newspapers and the cities they served. It traces newspapers’ evolution into highly commercial, mass-produced media packed with new features such as the sports page, the metropolitan section, the Sunday magazine, and the comic strips. By placing daily papers in their urban context, the book shows that they did not simply report on cities; they also helped to build cities. The book has received three prizes: the 2018 Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize, awarded by the American Historical Association for the best book on the history of journalism in any area of the world; the 2018 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award; and the 2019 James Carey Media Research Award.

You can read a short piece of my newspaper research on syndication here, and on the birth of the metropolitan section here. I continue to write on the history of media in the U.S. I am currently completing an article on the women’s pages in turn-of-the-century newspapers, and another on the mass production of news with a focus on the Hearst newspaper chain. 

I am at the outset of my next book-length study, a history of clean in the twentieth-century United States. This project continues my research into corporate structures and everyday life while also moving towards environmental history. My focus will be domestic, looking at bodies, houses, and clothes. The early twentieth-century story seems to be one of triumph—of indoor plumbing, washing machines, and rising life expectancy—but by the late twentieth century it was becoming clear that there was such a thing as too clean, as indicated by both human and environmental health.

I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in the history of the United States from the late nineteenth century onwards, especially in cultural history, social history, urban history, the history of the body, and popular and print culture.

I convene a first-year Outline Paper, “North America, Central American, and the Caribbean 1775-present.” For Part II/third year students I teach an Advanced Topic, "Consumption and Consumer Culture in the United States," and supervise undergraduate dissertations. " I offer an MPhil option on "Methods and Approaches in U.S. Cultural History," and I supervise for the MPhil in American history.


Tags & Themes


Fitzwilliam College
Storey's Way
Cambridge CB3 0JD


Key Publications

Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (University of Chicago Press, 2017)

"Progressive Political Culture and the Widening Scope of Local Newspapers, 1880-1930" in Media Nation: The Political History of News in Modern America, ed. Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

“Popular Culture” in A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, ed. Christopher McKnight Nichols and Nancy Unger (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)

“Changing Strategies for Child Welfare, Enduring Beliefs About Childhood: The Fresh Air Fund, 1877-1926,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 2012): 27-70.