The University of Northern Iowa Department of History welcomes the community to participate in the 48th Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture, “Dividing the City: Private Racial Restrictions and the Architecture of Segregation in the Midwest.”

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 in UNI’s Seerley Hall, Room 115. It will additionally be available via Zoom, with advanced registration at

The featured speaker, Professor Colin Gordon from University of Iowa’s Department of History, will discuss the efforts of developers, realtors and white homeowners to restrict property by race in the first half of the twentieth century. Drawing on archival research in property records in St. Louis City and St. Louis County in Missouri, and Black Hawk and Johnson Counties in Iowa, Gordon will underscore the scope, intensity and impact of such restrictions—both on contemporary housing opportunities and on patterns of racial segregation and racial inequality that run to the present day.

Gordon is the author of several books, including, “Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs,” “Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality,” and many others. He has written for the Nation, In These Times, Jacobin and Dissent (where he is a regular contributor). His recent research support includes a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2021-22) and a visiting scholar fellowship at the Russell Sage Foundation (2022-23).

UNI’s Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture Series began in 1974 and is sponsored by the Department of History and the UNI chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national honor society for students and professors of history. Carl L. Becker (1873-1945) was an American historian of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. He was born on a farm near Reinbeck, Iowa, lived in Waterloo, Iowa, and later attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Becker received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1907 and taught at various universities, the last being Cornell University in New York from 1917-1941.

Jennifer McNabb, Department Head and Professor of History, (319) 273-2097,


Jennifer McNabb, Department Head and Professor of History

(319) 273-2097