US History, Labor History, Food Studies, Urban History, Southern History, and Histories of Governance


A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (twice for his BA and PhD), Bryant Simon is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of History and 2020 recipient of Temple's  Great Teacher Award. He is the author of four books, three co-edited collections, and numerous essays and commentary in the Washington Post,  New Republic, the,  Christian Science Monitor,  Public Books, and the Philadelphia  Inquirer.  In addition, he has appeared as a talking head in documentaries about Starbucks, the history of American Food, blue jeans, the Jersey shore, Monopoly (the board game) and Alabama-based rock and roll band, the Drive-By Truckers.

Simon is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Speaker, an elected member of the Society of the American Historians, and the outgoing President of the Southern Labor Studies Association.   He initiated and runs the History Department's graduate exchange with Erfurt University (Germany). Currently, Simon is working on a book about the history of the public bathroom in the United States to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

Simon in also the Academic of Chair of the University Honors Program at Temple University.  

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Food and Eating in America: A Documentary Reader, co-edited with James Giesen (New York: Wiley, 2018).
  • The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, Cheap Lives (New York: The New Press, 2017; paperback edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2020; Japanese translation with new introduction, Tamagawa University Press, 2024).
  • Food, Power, and Agency, co-edited with Juergen Martschukat (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2017).
  • Everything But the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009). (Published in Japanese with new introduction by Iwanami Shoten Publisher, 2013).
  • Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (Oxford University Press, 2004). McCormick Award Winner
  • ‘Jumpin’ Jim Crow’: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights, co-edited with Jane Dailey and Glenda Gilmore, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000).
  • A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998).

Courses Taught

  • US History, 1865-Present
  • Recent US History
  • Food and Eating in the US
  • Sounds of the Revolution: About the Uptown Theater In Philadelphia
  • Project Power: Hollywood and American Politics
  • Learning About America from McDonald's