Robert Cohen

Professor of Social Studies Education

Phone: 998 5460

Robert Cohen is a professor of history and social studies in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is an affiliated member of NYU’s History Department. His historical scholarship  focuses on politics, higher education, and social protest in twentieth century America. His social studies work links middle and high school teachers with the recent advances in historical scholarship and develops curriculum aimed at teaching their students to explore history as a critical discipline – and one that is characterized by intense and exciting debate.


Prof. Hasia Diner speaks with Dr. Robert Cohen about some key issues and themes in American immigration history that merit attention.

Selected Publications

  • Cohen's recent books include: Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960s (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2013), co-edited with David J. Snyder; Freedoms' Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s (Oxford University Press: 2009); Teaching US History: Dialogues Among Social Studies Teachers and Historians (Routledge: 2010) co-edited with Diana Turk, Rachel Mattson, and Terrie Epstein. Cohen's other books include Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression (University of North Carolina Press, 2002); The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s (University of California Press, 2002) co-edited with Reginald Zelnik; When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941 (Oxford University Press: 1993). He is the consulting editor for Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, Vol. 1 Made for America (University of Illinois Press, 2003) and Vol. 2 Making Speech Free (University of Illinois Press, 2005).
  • Cohen is a frequent contributor to Social Education, the leading journal for history teachers, published by the National Council for the Social Studies. His most recent articles in Social Education are "The Other September 11: Teaching About the 1973 Overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende," (Oct. 2009) co-authored with Katy Benedetto and Alexandra Lamb; "Was the Constitution Pro-Slavery? The Changing Views of Frederick Douglass," (Sept. 2008). He also has written collaboratively with his NYU faculty colleague Pedro A. Noguera on a number of education policy issues, including "Beyond Black, White and Brown," in the Nation magazine (May 3, 2004) special issue on the Brown decision . Their Education Week article on the legacy of the Brown decision "The Legacy of All Deliberate Speed," was selected as one of the best in that journal over the past 25 years and included in The Last Word: The Best Commentary and Controversy in American Education (2007). They have also co-authored "Educators in the War on Terror," in Joel Westheimer, ed. Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools (Teachers College Press, 2007).


              Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, Volume 3: Light and Shadows, 1910-1916  Rebellion in Black and White  Teaching Recent Global History: Dialogues Among Historians, Social Studies Teachers and Students  The Essential Mario Savio