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Andy Horowitz - Pizza & Freedom: Why CT History Matters

1st Hometown Lecture as State Historian at New Haven Museum

During his presentation, Horowitz will present his vision as state historian, discuss what Connecticut history is, and reflect on why Connecticut history matters. The talk will be informed by his work as the founding director of the New Haven Oral History Project at Yale University, including an exhibit he produced in 2004 at the New Haven Museum called “Life in the Model City: Stories of Urban Renewal in New Haven.”

Horowitz’s teaching has covered five centuries of American history: north, south, east, and west, from city to wilderness. He is an associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut. As a scholar of the modern United States, his research focuses on disasters and the questions they give rise to about race, class, community, trauma, inequality, the welfare state, extractive industry, metropolitan development, and environmental change. More broadly, he is concerned with creating a usable past for the climate crisis: he writes histories designed to help readers think through problems that are often imagined to be without precedent. As a public historian, he works to support communities as they engage in acts of collective autobiography. He was born and raised in New Haven and received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2014. His first book, “Katrina: A History, 1915 – 2015,” won a 2021 Bancroft Prize in American History, and was named the 2021 Humanities Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and a 2020 Best Nonfiction Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. He has edited and published in numerous publications, including The Atlantic, Time, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. As state historian, he serves on the board of CT Humanities, and as a member of the Historic Preservation Council, the State Capitol Preservation & Restoration Commission, the editorial board of the Connecticut History Review, and the Connecticut Semiquincentenntial Commission.

As a graduate student, Horowitz was awarded Yale University’s Prize Teaching Fellowship twice. His dissertation on the causes and consequences of disaster in metropolitan New Orleans won the Southern Historical Association's C. Vann Woodward Prize for best dissertation in Southern history and Yale's George Washington Egleston Prize for best dissertation in American history. Before he began work on his Ph.D. in 2008, Horowitz founded the New Haven Oral History Project at Yale, directed the Imagining New Orleans documentary project in collaboration with the Southern Oral History Program and the Louisiana State Museum, and worked as a research associate at “American Routes,” a National Public Radio program. He also served as a mayoral appointee to the City of New Haven's Cultural Affairs Commission. He received a B.A. from Yale in 2003, and an M.S.L. from Yale Law School in 2023, the latter with the support of a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation. Before joining the University of Connecticut faculty in 2022, he was associate professor of history and the Paul and Debra Gibbons Professor in the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University.


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