- Ph.D., U.S. History, Indiana University, 1997
- M.A., U.S. History, Indiana University, 1992
- B.A., History, Calvin College, 1990
James LaGrand is a historian of modern America. He teaches a wide range of courses on American history since the mid-nineteenth century, and his research and writing focuses on the intertwining of political and social history during this time. He serves as a referee, editorial reviewer, and consultant for journals, scholarly presses, and textbooks, and is the coordinator for the south-central Pennsylvania National History Day competition. Before moving to Pennsylvania to teach at Messiah College in 1997, he lived in Boston; Ottawa, Canada; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Bloomington, Indiana. He and his wife, Betsy, and their three children live in Grantham, Pennsylvania.
- U.S. History, 1865-present
- U.S. History, 1890-1945
- U.S. History, 1945-present
- The Vietnam War
- U.S. Urban History
- African-American History since 1865
- American Indian History
- The American West
- Public History (practicum)
- America and its Critics (seminar)
- Historiography and the Philosophy of History (seminar)
- Indian Metropolis: Native Americans in Chicago, 1945-75. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2002. Paperback edition: 2005.
- “The Problems of Preaching through History.” In Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation, edited by John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010. pp. 187-213.
- “Indian Work and Indian Neighborhoods: Adjusting to Life in Chicago during the 1950s.” In Enduring Nations: Native Americans in the Midwest, edited by R. David Edmunds. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2008.
- “Urban Indians in the U.S. and Indian Identity: An Examination of Chicago from the 1940s through the 1970s.” In Not Strangers In These Parts: Urban Aboriginal Peoples, edited by David Newhouse and Evelyn Peters. Ottawa: Policy Research Initiative, 2003. Translated and published in French as “L’identité amérindienne urbaine dans une grande ville des États-Unis: Le Cas de Chicago des Années 1950 aux années 1970.” In Des Gens D’ici: Les Autochtones en Milieu Urbain.
- “Whose Voices Count? Oral Sources and Twentieth-Century American Indian History.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 21:1 (Winter 1997): 73-105.
- “The Changing ‘Jesus Road’: Protestants Reappraise American Indian Missions in the 1920s and 1930s.” Western Historical Quarterly 27 (Winter 1996): 479-504.
- Reviews in Journal of American History, American Studies, First Principles, Indiana Magazine of History, Michigan Historical Review, Western Historical Quarterly, Ethnohistory, American Indian Culture and Research Journal
- “Protestant-Inspired Reform in the City: The Search for Solidarity and Connection,” Conference on Faith and History biennial meeting, George Fox University, October 2010.
- “Searching for Connection and Solidarity in the Industrial City,” Spring Humanities Symposium, Messiah College, February 2009.
- “The Problems of Preaching through History,” Conference on Faith and History biennial meeting, Bluffton University, September 2008.
- “The West in American Life, Culture, and Politics,” State Department Summer Institute for University Teachers, Grantham PA, July 2007.
- “The Beginnings of Chicago’s American Indian Community,” Conference on Illinois History annual meeting, October 2005.
- “Pluralism and Nationalism in the Civil Rights Movement,” Spring Humanities Symposium, Messiah College, February 2005.
- “Christianity and the Death of Jim Crow,” Messiah College, October 2004.
- “Urban Indians in the U.S. and Indian Identity: An Examination of Chicago from the 1940s through the 1970s,” 2003 Aboriginal Strategies Conference sponsored by the Canadian government’s Office of Indian and Northern Affairs and Privy Council Office, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 2003.
James is currently working on a project entitled “Reform in the American Grain: The Idea of the Nation in Modern Social Movements” which explores the role played by American nationalism and national identity in various social movements--including the labor movement, anti-war movements, the civil rights movement, and the New Left and New Right. A second project focuses on the progressive movement from early-twentieth-century America and the ways in which its themes of connection, solidarity, and moral reform continue to be heard in contemporary social, political, and religious life.