Nancy Kwak

Associate Professor

  • UC San Diego Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher
  • Ph.D. – History, Columbia University, 2006
  • MAT – Harvard University, 1996
  • B.A. – History, UC Berkeley, 1996

Nancy Kwak is interested in the evolution of cities and urban spaces in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the role of planners, architects, and policymakers in reshaping neighborhoods and communities. While trained specifically in US urban history, Prof. Kwak currently pursues transnational, international, and comparative approaches to American urban history.

Homeownership for all: American power and the politics of housing aid post-1945 (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Winner of the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2016

Winner of the Kenneth T. Jackson Best Book Award, Urban History Association, 2016

For most recent publications, please visit

  • CAT 1: Fictions of History (An introduction to basic historiography)
  • CAT 2: Designing Equality (An introduction to the history of American urban design)
  • HIGR 265: Historiography (US – Twentieth century)
  • HIGR 209: Historical Pedagogy
  • HILD 7B: History of Race and Ethnicity in the US/Asian American History
  • HIUS 123: History of New York City
  • HIUS 142B: History of the United States post-1945
  • HIUS 148/USP 103: History of the American City in the 20th century
  • HIUS 181: American Architecture and Urbanism
  • HIUS 181: Historiography - US in the World
  • INTL 190/HITO 180: Housing in the Developing World
  • MMW 15: Making of the Modern World, 20th c. and beyond
  • INTL 190/HITO 180: Urban Poverty in Historical Context
  • USP 1: History of US Urban Communities
  • USP 190: Senior Honors Thesis