Richard F. Hamm


Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.A., Ohio State University
B.A., Florida Atlantic University

109C Social Science
Phone: (518) 442-5382
Fax: (518) 442-5301


*asterisks indicate new courses developed

Undergraduate Courses:

His 100: American Social and Political History until 1865
His 101: American Social and Political History from 1865
His 292: Trials in United States History
Honors History 292: Trials in United States History
His 327: Roles of Law in American History *
His 328: Lawyers in American Life *
His 480: Colloquium in United States History

Graduate Courses:

His 507: History and Policy
His 603/630: Readings in American and Public Policy History *
His 603: Readings in American History *
His 609/631: Seminar in American and Public Policy History *

Current Research Interests:

My research interests are focused on the interaction of law and society in the American past, especially the 19th and 20th centuries. How ideas, individuals, and structures have combined to shape law and how law has determined the courses the government officials, reformers, and ordinary people have been the primary foci of my, and my students’, work. I am currently writing four different articles centered in the 1930s and 1940s, one on legal challenges to segregated draft in WWII, one on the background on the case that created doctrine of commercial speech in constitutional law, one on the extradition hearing of Robert Elliot Burns, and one on an anti-Semitic attack at Bear Mountain State Park. I welcome graduate students interested in exploring any aspects of interaction law and society in the American past. Undergraduate students interested in law and society or legal history, or planning a career in law or governmental services are particularly welcome in my classes.

Most Recent Publication:

"The Limits of the Law: A 1943 Case of Anti-Semitism in the Lower Hudson Valley River Valley," Hudson River Valley Review 31 (Spring 2015): 2-15. 


Collins Fellow, 2016
“Most Influential Person” Honors College Student nomination 2013
Distinguished Member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars 2012
Outstanding Achievement Award, Disablitity Resource Center, University at Albany 2012
President’s and Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, University at Albany, 1997-1998.

Links to:

Full Curriculum Vitae

Olmstead v. United States: The Constitutional Challenges of Prohibition Enforcement: a unit on Olmstead v. United States for the “Teaching the History of the Federal Courts” project of the Federal Judicial Center. Selected edited historical documents and scholarly text.