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Brockport / History / Faculty / Dr. James Spiller

History Faculty

Dr. James Spillerspiller

Asst Provost Research & Scholarship/ Dean Graduate School

Office: Morgan II 2110
Phone: 585.395.5471


  • Modern American History, Cultural History


  • Phd University of Wisconsin - Madison, August 1999 - American History
  • BA Rutgers University - December, 1989

Awards and Honors

  •  SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2004.
  • Research Grants from the Presidential Library Foundations of George H.W. Bush (2003); Lyndon B. Johnson (2002); and Gerald R. Ford (1997).
  • Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship, 1996-1997. 
  • History of Science Society's Schuman Prize, 1996. 
  • Jacob Javits Fellow, 1991-1996. 

Courses Taught

  • Modern American History Survey
  • History of Science and Technology in America
  • Modern American Dream: Economics and U.S. Society
  • Undergraduate Research Methods
  • Modern American Cultural History
  • American Environmental History
  • America since 1929
  • Graduate Reading Seminar in Modern American History


  • "International Science in Antarctica," in David N. Livingstone and Ronald L. Numbers eds., Modern Science in National and International Context. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.)
  • "Imagining American Science and Technology," in T. Gregory Garvey and Anna Maslenikova eds., American Studies Reader (St. Petersberg, 2006).
  • "Radiant Cuisine: The Commercial Fate of Food Irradiation in the United States," Technology and Culture, October 2004.
  • "This is War! : Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America" - in review by Journal of Radio Studies, June 2004.
  • "Re-Imagining U.S. Antarctic Research as a Defining Endeavor of a Deserving World Leader, 1957-1991," Public Understanding of Science, January 2004.

Conferences and Presentations

  • "Focusing With Foggy Lenses: The Importance and Limitations of Historical Inquiry," Keynote Lecture, Strong Museum, Rochester, NY, March 2009.
  • "Outer Space, Antarctica and Changing Sentiments about American Exploration," Organization of American Historians Conference, March 2008.
  • "The Greatest Legacy of the IGY: Antarctic Science as a Force for Peaceful Internationalism," The International geophysical Year: A 50-Year Retrospective (part of the IUGG Conference), July 2007.
  • "Documenting Science and Technology in the Digital Age," Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, April 2005
  • "The Space Frontier and the Shifting Terrain of American National Identity," Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, April 2005.

Current Projects

  • Dr. Spiller is working on a manuscript on the cultural politics of, federally-funded scientific research and technology projects in post-World War II America.



Last Updated 2/25/15


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.


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"