Guy Ortolano

Associate Professor of History

New York University

Guy Ortolano is a historian of modern Britain. He teaches surveys of British and European history since the eighteenth century, and seminars on urban history and the history of science. He also offers a course on Britain since the Roman Empire for NYU’s College Core, as well as the History Department’s introduction to historical studies. Ortolano is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in History, and Chair of the University Seminar in British History at Columbia University.

Ortolano writes about subjects that recently enjoyed wide acclaim, only to have fallen dramatically out of favor: a novelist no longer in print, a literary critic out of fashion, an architecture widely loathed. By recovering the context in which these reputations once thrived, often through archival sources that contradict today’s common sense, his work challenges some of the most pervasive interpretations of the postwar era, from economic “decline” to the 1970s “crisis.” The Royal Historical Society named his first book, The Two Cultures Controversy, runner-up for the Whitfield Prize; the ACLS has awarded his current project, on Britain’s New Towns, a Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship.