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Brockport / History / Faculty / Dr. Kenneth O'Brien

History Faculty

Dr. Kenneth O'Brienobrien

Office: 140 Brown Bldg
Phone: 585.395.5693


  • Modern American History


  • Phd Northwestern University - Evanston, IL. June 1974 (American History)
    Dissertation: “The Savage and the Child: Images of Blacks in Southern White Thought, 1830-1915.”  
  • AB Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ, June 1965.
    Departmental Honors Program in History, 1962-1965.


  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, 2006.
  • Member, New York State Historical Records Advisory Board, 1996-present.
  • Edmund J. Winslow Award for Excellence 1992.
  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1981.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Honors Program
  • America Since 1929
  • Modern America


  • The State University of New York at Brockport (Arcadia Publishing, 2006). co-authored with Mary Jo Gigliotti and W. Bruce Leslie
  • The Home-Front War: American Society and World War II, co-edited with Lynn Hudson Parsons. (Greenwood Press, 1995). 


  • "The United States, War and the Twentieth Century" in The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (Cambridge, 2006).
  • “America and Images of Censorship in Modern War: America in World War II,” Reviews in American History (September 1994).

Conferences and Presentations 

  • Chair and commentator on two papers on modern New York history, New York State History Conference, 1999.
  • Paper (co-authored with Wanda Wakefield), “World War II in Film,” Popular Culture Association, April 1999.
  • Panel member, “The Profession and Its Critics,” American Studies Association, November 1997.
  • Invited paper, “Final Thoughts on World War II.” NEH sponsored conference held at the Cincinnati Historical Society, April 1995.
  • Book reviews for the American Historical Review and New York History.

Last Updated 4/22/11


Congratulations to Dr. Jose R. Torre on winning the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching!

History major Michael Zagari has been accepted into the Duquesne University School of Law this coming fall on a full academic scholarship! During his time at Brockport, Mike has played on the NCAA men’s ice hockey team and has won the Jack Crandall and Robert Griswold History Department Awards.

History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

History professor Jose R. Torre to direct NEH Landmarks Workshop for K-12 teachers. The Rochester Reform Trail explores Rochester’s nationally important antebellum reform history. This July, 72 K-12 teachers from as far away as California, Florida and Oregon will visit Rochester and learn why national figures like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony chose to live and work for social justice in Rochester, New York.


Sig and Nadine Synnestvedt Memorial Lecture, Thursday, 10/08/15, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Leigh Anne Francis (The College of New Jersey), Title: "’Bad Little Black Girls’: African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Remaking of White Supremacy.”

Maynooth Lecture, Wednesday, 10/28/2015, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Filipe Ribeiro-deMeneses (University of Maynooth-IRELAND), Title: 'Making sense of the Hitler's New Order: European neutrals, 1940-1944'

Robert Marcus Memorial Lecture, Thursday, 4/14/16, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Raymond Craib (Cornell University), Title: "The Cry of the Renegade:  The politics and poetry of subversion in Santiago, Chile"