MATTHEW BASSO

Curriculum Vitae Biosketch

MATTHEW BASSO portrait
  • Director of the American West Center
  • Associate Professor, Gender Studies
  • Associate Professor, History

Biography

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts 1990, VASSAR COLLEGE
  • Master of Arts 1996, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
  • Doctor of Philosophy 2001, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Honors & Awards

  • Virgil C. Aldrich Faculty Fellow. Tanner Humanities Center, University of Utah, 08/22/2016
  • Distinguished Lecturer. Organization of American Historians, 01/01/2016
  • Honors Humanities Professorship. University of Utah, 08/2014
  • Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch, 06/2014
  • Philip Taft Labor History Book Award. Cornell University ILR School and the Labor and Working Class History Association, 04/2014
  • Faculty Research Grant Award. University Research Committee, 01/2014
  • Resident Scholar Fellowship . Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies , 09/2013
  • Distinguished Graduate and Post-Doctoral Mentor Award . University of Utah Graduate School , 05/2012
  • Alpha Rho Scholars’ Choice Instructor of Distinction Award . Phi Alpha Theta, 05/2012
  • Alpha Rho Scholars’ Choice Instructor of Distinction Award. Phi Alpha Theta, 05/2011
  • Autry Public History Prize. Western History Association, 10/2010
  • Award of Merit. American Association of State and Local History , 02/2010
  • Outstanding Public History Project - Honorable Mention. National Council for Public History, 01/2010

Biography

I am jointly appointed in History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.  My research interests include the theory and history of masculinity, labor and working class history, the history of old age, the history of race and ethnicity, the relationship of the military to society, U.S. Western history, the history of Pacific settler societies, and transnational history.  I also offer courses that grapple with all of these subjects.  My scholarship appears in both traditional venues, like books and articles, and in community-focused projects, like the construction of digital archives, the development of oral history projects, and the production of K-12 curriculum materials. 

I am the author of Meet Joe Copper: Masculinity and Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front (University of Chicago Press, May 2013), winner of the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award and the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch Book Award.  Meet Joe Copper describes the formation of a powerful, white, working-class masculine ideology among immigrant copper workers in Montana in the decades prior to World War II, and shows how it thrived during the war—on the job, in the community, and through union politics. The experience and actions of these men on the home front offers a crucial counter-narrative to the national story of Rosie the Riveter and GI Joe that dominates scholarly and popular discussions of World War II. Meet Joe Copper provides a context for our ideas of postwar masculinity and whiteness and finally returns the men of the home front to our reckoning of the Greatest Generation and the New Deal era.

I am also the editor of Men at Work: Rediscovering Depression-Era Stories from the Federal Writers’ Project (University of Utah Press, 2012); the co-author of a K-12 textbook entitled We Shall Remain: A Native History of Utah and America (American West Center, 2009); and the co-editor of Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West (Routledge, 2001).  We Shall Remain is part of a larger initiative, the Utah Indian Curriculum Project (UICP), which also includes the Utah American Indian Digital Archive, a 50,000 page digital archive.  (UICP is available at www.utahindians.org.)  UICP won the Western History Association’s Autry Public History Prize, the American Association of State and Local History’s Award of Merit, and National Council on Public History’s Project of the Year – Honorable Mention.  Between 2006 and 2012 I also directed the University of Utah’s American West Center.  At the Center, I initiated and oversaw not only UICP, but also six oral history projects, a number of federal, state, and tribal research projects, film festivals, lectures, conferences, and symposia.  During my years at the Center I secured over one million dollars in grants and contracts and funded and trained over fifty graduate students in public history methodologies.

I am currently working on a book on Settler Masculinity in the Pacific World and beginning a new project on the historical experience of old age in America that has both a significant public history and scholarly component.

In the Media

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • United States of America
  • Oceania
  • Polynesia