Gerald Gamm

Gerald Gamm

  • Professor of Political Science and History
  • Associate Chair, Department of Political Science
    Director of Undergraduate Studies

PhD, Harvard, 1994

Office Location
Harkness 319
Curriculum Vitae
Curriculum Vitae
Office Hours
by appointment


Fields: American politics and history

Research focuses on questions of institutional development and historical change in the United States, with an emphasis on creating, discovering, analyzing, and learning from new bodies of data and an array of primary sources. Current subjects include Congress, state legislatures, party competition, and the relationship between the rise of social issues (such as abortion, LGBTQ rights, gun rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, and the teaching of evolution) in the 1960s and 1970s and the origins of contemporary partisan polarization. Books include The Making of New Deal Democrats (University of Chicago Press), Urban Exodus: Why the Jews Left Boston and the Catholics Stayed (Harvard University Press), and, with Steven S. Smith, Steering the Senate: The Emergence of Party Organization and Leadership, 1789-2024 (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press). Recent articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Studies in American Political Development. Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Fellow (by election) of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Recipient of a Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching. Chair of the Department of Political Science, 1999–2011 and 2017–18, and Co-Chair in 2022–23. Professor Gamm grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Sharon Public Schools, then earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard, followed by a doctorate in both history and political science.

Courses taught