Harvey J. Graff

Most Influential Person

American historian

Why Is Harvey J. Graff Influential?

Harvey Graff was born in 1949. He received a B.A. from Northwestern University, and an M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Toronto. His research has focused on the history of literacy, social, and cultural history, research methods, and the interplay of race, religion, and power in American and European societies.

His most notable work, The Literacy Myth, challenges assumptions about the correlations between literacy and success, suggesting that those connections are not based in reality and are influenced more strongly by other externalities. In Conflicting Paths; Growing Up in America, he examined hundreds of narratives about growing up in America, and explored how issues of class and gender changed over time.

A fierce advocate for quantitative methods for evaluating history, he has pushed for interdisciplinary approaches to historical scholarship in order to yield more nuanced insights. Today, Graff is a Professor Emeritus in Literacy Studies at Ohio State University and leads their Literacy Studies initiative, which promotes interdisciplinary study. He is currently researching the history of higher education and recently completed an as-yet unpublished work titled, Searching for Literacy: The Social and Intellectual Origins of Literary Studies. He works with radio and television stations, historical societies, and literacy programs internationally as an advisor and expert.

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Featured in Top Influential Historians Today

According to Wikipedia, Harvey J. Graff is a comparative social historian as well as a professor of English and History at Ohio State University. His writings on the history of literacy have been published in eight countries and he is acknowledged internationally for his contributions to urban studies and urban history. Some of his more notable works include two books entitled The Literacy Myth and Conflicting Paths: Growing Up in America.

Harvey J. Graff's Published Works

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What Schools Are Affiliated With Harvey J. Graff?

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