Dr Julia Guarneri

Associate Professor of American History
Dr Julia Guarneri

I am a social and cultural historian of the United States, with particular interests in media, urban history, and popular culture.  I did my BA at Cornell University, and completed my PhD at Yale.  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. 

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 at work on an article on the women’s pages in turn-of-the-century newspapers. My next book project will be a history of the nationalization of American news, as told through the Hearst newspaper chain. 

I have a long-term research interest in the history of American body language.

I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States, especially cultural history, urban history, and popular and print culture topics.

I teach Paper 24 (American History from 1865 to the present) in Part I of the history Tripos, and for Part II I teach a Specified Subject, "Consumption and Consumer Culture in the United States." I offer an MPhil option on "Methods and Approaches in U.S. Cultural History." I supervise Part II dissertations on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American 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.