Professor Gernes is an interdisciplinary historian of American Culture and American History generalist whose teaching and research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century U. S. history and society, with specializations in literary history, historical theory and methodology, history of 20th-century popular music, American material culture and decorative arts, museum studies, and historical constructions of race, class, ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.   Professor Gernes teaches a variety of courses in History and American Studies. He is presently teaching an interdisciplinary learning community with a colleague in Political Science about America’s response to the Armenian genocide in a global context.  Gernes pursues scholarly work in American cultural history and has published articles and book reviews in MELUS, The New England Quarterly, The African American Review, and The Winterthur Portfolio, as well as essays in scholarly anthologies. 

Present research includes the education and literary development of feminist public intellectual Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935); a digital humanities project featuring the Gibson House Museum in Boston and its founder, Boston poet and bon vivant, Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr. (1874-1954); a study of Rhode Island industrialist, philosopher, and Abolitionist Rowland Hazard (1801-1888); and an interdisciplinary study of Armenia in the American imagination.


  • B.A. and M.A., English and American Literature, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • A.M. and Ph.D., American Civilization, Brown University

Courses Offered

  • American Family History (HIS 100/130)
  • American Nation I (HIS 281)
  • American Nation II (HIS 282)
  • Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966 (HIS 234)
  • Electric Guitar in American Culture (HIS 337)
  • Fact or Fiction? Myth, Reality and Conspiracy in America (HIS 100/136)
  • Gilded Age and the Progressive Era 1865-1929 (HIS 309)
  • History Lab (HIS 425)
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (HIS 100/128)