Robert Chiles
Senior Lecturer

Robert Chiles studies the complex patterns and quotidian experiences of American life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on U.S. politics and society from the Gilded Age to World War II.  His teaching and research also engage with American cultural, environmental, labor, urban, and ethnic history.  Dr. Chiles teaches a panoply of courses at the University of Maryland, including both halves of the U.S. Survey and classes on topics including U.S. Political History, American Literature, Immigration and Ethnicity in the U.S., Antebellum America, Gilded Age America, the U.S. from 1900 to 1945, the New Deal Years, Post-World War II America, the American Revolution, and the U.S. in World Affairs.

Dr. Chiles graduated summa cum laude from Towson University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Music.  In 2012 he received his PhD in History from Maryland.  In recognition of his scholarship, he has been awarded residencies and grants from institutions including the New York State Library, the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.  

In 2019, Dr. Chiles became co-editor of the journal New York History.

His article “Working-Class Conservationism in New York” appeared in the January, 2013 volume of Environmental History.  “Courting the Farm Vote on the Northern Plains” appeared in North Dakota History in Spring, 2016.  “School Reform as Progressive Statecraft” appeared in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in October, 2016.  "Vanquished Warrior: Reconsidering Al Smith's 1928 New York Defeat" appeared in the Winter, 2017 issue of New York History.  In 2017, he contributed a brief interpretive essay entitled "An Infusion of Hope: New York Women in the Post-Suffrage Era" to the New York State Museum's catalog Votes for Women: Celebrating New York's Suffrage Centennial, published by SUNY Press.  He has contributed opinion pieces to major newspapers including Newsday, the Washington Post, the Albany Times Union (2), and The New York Daily News.

His first monograph, The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal, was published in 2018 by Cornell University Press.  Dr. Chiles's interview on The Revolution of '28 for the WMHT-Albany New York politics program "New York Now" can be found here; his C-SPAN talk on the book can be found here.

2131 Taliaferro Hall