Erik Loomis

  • Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
  • Tucker House, Rm 207
  • Phone: 401.874.4078
  • Email:


  • labor and environmental history of the United States
  • global capitalism
  • U.S. West


  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2008
  • M.A., University of Tennessee, 1999
  • B.A., University of Oregon, 1996

Selected Publications


A History of America in Ten Strikes. The New Press, 2018. Named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018

Empire of Timber: Labor Unions and the Pacific Northwest Forests. Cambridge University Press, 2016

Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe. The New Press, 2015. Named Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Translated into Chinese by Azoth Books Company, 2017. Selected as freshman common reading at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years

Organizing America: Tales from America’s Organizing Past. Under contract with The New Press

The Making of the Modern Pacific Northwest, 1960-2020. Under contract with University of Washington Press


“Labor History and the National Park Service: How the Government Does and Does Not Remember Our Working Past,” in Where Are the Workers? Labor’s Stories at Museums and Historic Sites,” edited by Robert Forrant and Mary-Anne Trasciatti. University of Illinois Press, 2022.

“Working Class Environmentalism: The Case of the Northwest Timber Workers,” in The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies, edited by Nora Räthzel, Dmitris Stevis, and David Uzzell. Palgrave-MacMillan Press, 2021.

“Conclusion,” in Organizing for Power: Building a Twenty-First Century Labor Movement in Boston,” edited by Aviva Chomsky and Steve Striffler. Haymarket Press, 2021.

“Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the U.S. Pacific Northwest,” in Men, Masculinities, and the Earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene, edited by Paul M. Pulé and Martin Hultman. Palgrave-MacMillan Press, 2021.

“The Growing Rift between Workers and Environmentalists,” part of forum titled “Discovering the Environment,” Modern American History 1, no. 3 (November 2018): 377-80.

“Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the U.S. Pacific Northwest,” RCC Perspectives no. 4 (2017): 37-44.

“Food Labor and the Trump Administration: A Grim Prognosis,” Journal of Food Law and Policy, 13, no. 1 (2017): 154-61.

“Reforestation Cooperatives and Countercultural Work in Northwestern Forests, 1970-1985,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 106, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 25-36.

“When Loggers Were Green: Lumber, Labor, and Conservation, 1937-48,” Western Historical Quarterly, 46, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 421-41.  Winner, Theodore C. Blegen Award for Best Article in Forest and Conservation History, Forest History Society

“High Winds and Sun: Southeastern Colorado and the Dust Bowl,” Colorado Heritage, (September/October 2013): 16-19.

“Preserving Nature to Preserve the Republic: Laurens Bolles, New Mexico’s Cold War Conservationist,” New Mexico Historical Review 88, no. 3 (Winter 2013): 41-64.

“Lives Under the Canopy: Spotted Owls and Loggers in Western Forests,” with Ryan H. Edgington, Natural Resources Journal 52, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 99-134.

Selected Political, Social, and Economic Commentary

“An Amazon Union Never Had a Chance,” The New York Times, April 15, 2021

“White Nationalism, The Working Class, and Organized Labor,” New Labor Forum, 29, no 1 January 2020

“Think the Spotted Owl is to Blame for Job Losses? Think Again, The Washington Post, September 13, 2019

“What White Kids Learn About Race in School,” Boston Review, September 12, 2019

“Is a General Strike What’s Needed to End the Shutdown,” The Atlantic, January 25, 2019

“Serving Time Should Not Mean Prison Slavery,” The New York Times, August 30, 2018

“The Democrats’ Yawning Silence on Trade,” Boston Review, August 7, 2018

“The Case for a Federal Jobs Guarantee,” The New York Times, April 25, 2018

“How Trade Deals and Immigration Laws Hurt Workers—Mexican Workers,” The New Republic, March 14, 2018

“Trump is All Bluster on Trade, But Democrats Haven’t Shown Voters They Can Do Better,” with Shaun Richman, The Washington Post, March 9, 2018

“The Unions Betraying the Left,” The New Republic, February 6, 2017

“A Left Vision for Trade,” Dissent, Winter 2017, 95-102