Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies
Gergely Baics joined the Barnard History Department in 2010. He holds a joint appointment with the Urban Studies Program, where he is BPH Endowed Faculty Chair and Co-Director. He is also affiliated with the Empirical Reasoning Center.
Baics's scholarly interests include modern urban history, 19th-century American economic and social history, trans-Atlantic population history, historical GIS, and social science history methods. He is the author of Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy and Geography of Food in New York, 1790-1860 (Princeton University Press, 2016). His work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the New-York Historical Society, and the Presidential Research Award at Barnard. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Urban History, Urban History, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and Planning Perspectives.
Baics is currently at work on a new book project, entitled Transitional City: Built Environment and Social Distance in New York, 1840s-1890s. He is also involved in two collaborative research projects, one measuring socially meaningful distance in the historical city, and the other mapping Copenhagen in the late 19th to early 20th century.
Baics is a recipient of the Gladys Brooks Teaching Award at Barnard. He offers lectures and seminars on transnational and American urban history, including “Colonial Cities of the Americas, c. 1500-1800”; “Emerging Cities: 19th-Century Urban History of the Americas and Europe”; “20th-Century Cities of the Americas and Europe”; “19th-Century New York City Spatial History”; “The Craft of Urban History”; “Urban Studies Junior Seminar: The Shaping of the Modern City”; “History Department Senior Thesis Seminar.”
American economic and social history
Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy and Geography of Food in New York, 1790-1860 (Princeton University Press, 2016, paperback 2018). One of the Financial Times Best History Books of 2016
SELECTED ACADEMIC ARTICLES
“The Grid as Algorithm for Land Use: A Reappraisal of the 1811 Manhattan Grid,” [with Leah Meisterlin], Planning Perspectives (2017), 1-24, doi: 10.1080/02665433.2017.1397537
“Introduction: Meat and the Nineteenth-Century City,” [with Mikkel Thelle], Urban History 45, no. 2 (2018), 184-92.
“Zoning Before Zoning: Land Use and Density in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York City,” [with Leah Meisterlin], Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106, no. 5 (2016), 1152-75
“The Geography of Urban Food Retail: Locational Principles of Public Market Provisioning in New York City, 1790-1860,” Urban History 43, no. 3 (2016), 435-53
“Meat Consumption in Nineteenth-Century New York: Quantity, Distribution, and Quality, or Notes on the ‘Antebellum Puzzle,’” in Institutions, Innovation, and Industrialization: Essays in Economic History and Development, ed. Avner Greif, Lynne Kiesling, and John Nye (Princeton University Press, 2015), 97-127
“Is Access to Food a Public Good? Meat Provisioning in Early New York City, 1790-1820,” Journal of Urban History 39, no. 4 (2013), 643-68
“Myth 9: System of Block and Lot Divisions” [with Leah Meisterlin], in “The Manhattan Street Grid Plan: Misconceptions and Corrections,” guest post in series edited by Jason M. Barr and Gerard Koeppel, The Gotham Center for New York City History Blog (Jan. 2019).
"How Did Meat Provision Work in the Nineteenth-Century City?" [with Mikkel Thelle], Cambridge Core Blog, Humanities (July 2018)
"Market System: The Case of Early New York,” Food+City. How We Feed Our Cities 3 (Nov. 2017)
“Mapping as Process: Food Access in Nineteenth-Century New York,” Global Urban History (May 2016)
“Old Maps, New Tricks: Historical Maps and Data Visualization,” [with Leah Meisterlin], Urban Omnibus (June 2015)
IN THE NEWS
About Feeding Gotham: The Way of Improvement Leads Home: The Author's Corner Interview; The Gotham Center for New York City History Blog: Excerpt; Campaign for the American Reader: The Page 99 Test; A Taste of the Past: Feeding Gotham: History of Urban Provisioning