Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Faculty and Staff Directory

JOHNSON, Benjamin H.

Title/s:  Professor

Specialty Area: Environmental History

Office #:  Crown Center 544

Phone: 773.508.3082


CV Link: Johnson CV


Benjamin H. Johnson (Ph.D., Yale, 2000; M.A., Yale, 1996, B.A., Carleton College, 1994) is a Professor in History at Loyola University Chicago.  Dr. Johnson's primary areas of research and teaching include environmental history, North American borders, and Latino history.  He has taught courses on North American and world environmental history, natural disasters, immigration and ethnicity in the United States, and border and transnational history more generally.

His first book, Revolution in Texas:  How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (Yale University Press, 2003) offered a new interpretation of the origins of the Mexican-American civil rights movement.  He continued his interest in Mexican American history in Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place (Yale University Press, 2008), a collaboration with photographer Jeffrey Gusky, and in journal articles about the ties between Mexican-American politics and postrevolutionary Mexico.  Johnson’s other primary interest is in the social and political history of American environmentalism, the subject of his current book Escaping the Dark, Gray City: Fear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation (Yale University Press, 2017). 

His essays have been published in such venues as The Journal of American History, Environmental History, Reviews in American History, and History Compass.  His edited volumes include Steal this University:  The Labor Movement and the Corporatization of Higher Education (Routledge, 2003), and The Making of the American West (ABC-CLIO, 2007).  He co-edited Bridging National Borders in North America (Duke University Press, 2010)with Andrew Graybill, and Major Problems in the History of North American Borderlands (Cengage Learning, 2011) with Pekka Hämäläinen.  He also serves as co-editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

Dr. Johnson also serves as placement officer for the Department's graduate students.  He is happy to assist in the job search process in any way that he can.  He regularly reviews CVs and application letters, and works with applicants to prepare for preliminary interviews and on-campus visits.  Graduate students interested in meeting with him are encouraged to schedule an appointment via e-mail.

Research Interests

Environmental history, North American borders, and Latino history.

Courses Taught

HIST 212: United States Since 1865

HIST 410: Topics in Environmental History