Erik Loomis

Assistant Professor of History, University of Rhode Island
Areas of Expertise:
  • Social Movements
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Environment
  • Jobs & Workers
  • Unions & the Labor Movement

About Erik

Loomis’ expertise lies in the labor and environmental history of the United States. His work seeks to build bridges between labor and environmental movements. He is the author of Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe, published by The New Press in 2015, which tells a story of how Americans tamed corporate misbehavior in the 20th century and how corporations escaped these regulations through the global race to the bottom. His book Empire of Timber: Work and Environment in the Pacific Northwest Forests will be published by Cambridge University Press in late 2015. It is the historical monograph to center labor unions as central to American environmentalism over the course of the 20th century .




"Lives under the Canopy: Spotted Owls and Loggers in Western Forests" (with Ryan H. Edgington). Natural Resources Journal 52, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 99-134.
Examines the historical relationship between loggers and forests in the Pacific Northwest and New Mexico to urge environmentalists to use the Endangered Species Act and other environmental legislation in ways that respect the history of working-class presence in the forest.
"Preserving Nature to Preserve the Republic: Laurens Bolles: New Mexico’s Cold War Conservationist" New Mexico Historical Review (forthcoming).
Explores the life of Laurens Bolles, an engineer turned environmentalist radio host, to urge historians to explore the effects of atomic bomb on the environmental movement.

In the News

Erik Loomis quoted on the history of the Pinkertons in Sarah Jones, "The Pinkertons Still Never Sleep" The New Republic, March 23, 2018.
"How Trade Deals and Immigration Laws Hurt Workers—Mexican Workers," Erik Loomis, New Republic, March 14, 2018.
"Trump is All Bluster on Trade, but Democrats Haven't Shown Voters They Can Do Better," Erik Loomis, Richmond Times Dispatch, March 10, 2018.
Erik Loomis quoted in Amanda Marcotte, "Austin Activists Win Important Victory on Abusive Policing" Salon, December 23, 2017.
Erik Loomis quoted on the future of academic freedom in America in Michael Hiltzik, "Another University Flunks the Free-Speech Test" Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2016.
"'No One is Making Them Stop': Why Corporations Outsource Catastrophe - and Workers Pay the Price," Erik Loomis, Interview with Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon, July 6, 2015.
"Oil Spills and Outrage," Erik Loomis, Counter Punch, June 3, 2015.
Erik Loomis quoted on labor costs in Michael Hiltzik, "Are Those Detested Two-Tiered UAW Contracts Finally on the Way Out?" Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2015.
Erik Loomis quoted on the United Auto Workers union deal in Ned Resnikoff, "Auto Union Walks Back Major Concession to One of Detroit's Big Three" Al Jazeera America, October 9, 2015.
Erik Loomis quoted on the role of unions in the fight for $15 in Ned Resnikoff, "Unions Divide Labor Movement over LA Minimum Wage Exemptions" Al Jazeera America, May 29, 2015.
Erik Loomis quoted on capital flight and mobility in David Dayen, "How to Make the Trans-Pacific Partnership Work for Workers" Fiscal Times, May 29, 2015.
Erik Loomis quoted on how a professor should be defined in Scott Eric Kaufman, "'Academia is the Titanic': Mark Bauerlein on Teaching in the Morally-Bankrupt Grind of the New American University" Salon, May 12, 2015.
"How We Can Hold American Companies that Use Sweatshop Labor Accountable," Erik Loomis, In These Times, April 13, 2015.
"A Titanic Defeat," Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money, February 15, 2014.
"Erik Loomis of Lawyers, Gun$, and Money on Why We Need a More Radical Labor Movement," Erik Loomis, Interview with Rick Smith, The Rick Smith Show, June 22, 2011.
"Shutting It All Down: The Power of General Strikes in U.S. History," Erik Loomis, In These Times, November 2, 2011.
Guest to discuss strikes and direct action on The Rick Smith Show, Erik Loomis, November 3, 2011.
Guest to discuss the Ludlow Massacre on The Rick Smith Show, Erik Loomis, April 20, 2012.
"8 Ways America’s Headed Back to the Robber-Baron Era," Erik Loomis, AlterNet, July 3, 2012.
Guest to discuss the return of the Robber-Barron era on Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints, Erik Loomis, July 9, 2012.