OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Michael H. Ebner

Portrait of Michael H. Ebner

Michael H. Ebner is the James D. Vail III Professor of History Emeritus at Lake Forest College, where he taught from 1974 to 2007. He is best known as the author of the prizewinning Creating Chicago's North Shore: A Suburban History (1988). He has taught in the U.S. Department of Education's Teaching American History initiative in Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, and Virginia and also served as project director of Creating a Geographically Extended Class at Lake Forest College, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ebner is the recipient of awards as a mentor, as a teacher, and for public service from the American Historical Association, the Chicago Tribune, the City College of New York, and Lake Forest College, and is a life trustee at the Chicago History Museum. He is currently completing a book entitled Re-mixed: Storylines from Metropolitan America.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

The significance of the traditional liberal arts college is distinctive in the constellation of American higher education. Of particular interest is a range of curricular strategies as well as sustaining scholarly pursuits in a non-university culture. A range of experiences as an on-campus evaluator of departments of history at six different liberal arts colleges informs these perspectives.
Baseball -- whatever the level of play -- is interwoven in the history of American culture. This richly illustrated lecture encompasses gender, race, capitalism, technology, and globalism.
The automobile, taking its earliest form in the 1890s, has re-shaped our lives as well as the locales where we live as well as pursue our livelihoods. This richly-illustrated lecture examines -- on an international scale -- how the rise of the motor vehicles has shaped the history of American transportation in a multitude of forms.
The US Department of Education, beginning in 2001, launched an ambitious initiative known as 'Teaching American History.' It engaged college and university professors, museum professionals, and history teachers from the K-12 levels. TAH provided uncommon and dynamic experiences for professionals at every level of the enterprise of learning to collaborate in advancing how and why American history is taught at every level of education.
D. W. Meinig, renowned historical geographer, supplies a useful precis: 'America as an ever changing place, an ever changing congeries of places, and ever-changing structures of places." This lecture focuses upon four distinctive locales: Greater Princeton, NJ; Naperville, IL; Gwinnett County, GA; and Irvine, CA. The American metropolis -- today the home place for a majority of Americans -- provides the frame of reference. Stretched over a broad canvass, the four case studies, drawing upon the geographical perspectives of Roger Keil, proffers an emphatic and compelling revision: "... we are facing new realities of globalized urbanization, where central cities and fringe are remixed... a different suburbia and a different city."