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Scott Hanson

R. Scott Hanson, PhD

Senior Scholar in Urban History and Material Culture
Drexel University Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships
Department of History
Phone: 215.895.2463

Additional Sites:


  • PhD, History of Culture, University of Chicago, 2002
  • MA, Religion, Columbia University, 1993
  • BA, Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program, University of Texas at Austin, 1992

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Urban history
  • Immigration
  • Religion
  • Civil Rights
  • Public History


R. Scott Hanson is the senior scholar in Urban History and Material Culture in the Department of History and Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships at Drexel. He holds a PhD in History of Culture from the University of Chicago and specializes in American urban history, immigration and ethnic history, religion, political rhetoric, oral history, ethnography, folklore (including the history of music and foodways), and public history more generally. In addition to teaching, he also works with the team of the Lenfest Center in the Atwater Kent Collection of the former Philadelphia History Museum.

Previously, he was a lecturer in the Department of History and Director of the Social Justice Research Academy at the University of Pennsylvania, and an adjunct associate professor of History and American Studies at Temple University. He was also a curatorial research associate at the American Philosophical Society where he helped curate exhibits on Thomas Jefferson’s years in Philadelphia, and he has helped curate exhibits at the Queens Museum of Art and Flushing Town Hall. He also serves as an advisor for the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and as a mentor in Drexel’s Liberty Scholars Program.

In 2023 he worked on two exhibitions with the Lenfest Center: “Seeing Philadelphia” spanning 300 years of paintings, cartography, and photography from the Atwater Kent Collection from July - September at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and “Electrified” on the 50th anniversary of the Electric Factory from September - December at Drexel. Another exhibition of the Atwater Kent Collection called “Philadelphia Revealed” is planned for Summer 2024.

Courses Taught:

  • HIST 202: US History, 1815-1900
  • HIST 203: US History since 1900
  • HIST 275: History of Pennsylvania
  • HIST 276: History of Philadelphia
  • HIST T280: U.S. Immigration History
  • HIST 331: The American Revolution

Selected Publications: