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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


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.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama has published a book, Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Mainichi, a major national newspaper in Japan, for the Oct. 3, 2014, issue.

The department hosted an NEH Workshop, Rochester Reform Trail, for K-12 teachers in July 2014.

History major Amy Freeman has published an article on the Eastman Dental Dispensary in the Democrat and Chronicle.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Yomuiri, a major national newspaper in Japan.

Dr. Ken O'Brien has been named a SUNY Provost Fellow for the 2013-2014 year.

Dr. Bruce Leslie has been named a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.


The Malik Lecture will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 7 pm at the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage.

The Robert Marcus Lecture will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 7:30 pm in the lecture hall (room 104) of the Liberal Arts Building.