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Benjamin Johnson, PhD

Title/s:  Professor
Environmental Historian

Specialty Area: Environmental history, environmental thought, race, class, and the environment

Office #:  Crown Center 544

Phone: 773.508.3082


CV Link: Johnson CV


Benjamin H. Johnson 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). 


  • PhD, Yale, 2000
  • MA, Yale, 1996,
  • BA, Carleton College, 1994

Research Interests

Johnson's research interests include: environmental history, North American borders, and Latino history.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 212: United States Since 1865
  • HIST 410: Topics in Environmental History

Selected Publications

For a complete list of publications, please see his CV.