Thomas G. Connors

Associate Professor of History

Thomas Connors

Seerley 324

(319) 273-2994

Thomas G. Connors

Associate Professor of History


Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1997

Teaching Interests

Dr. Thomas Connors teaches classes on Irish, British, and U. S. history. He developed and piloted both the College’s Social Science Teaching Field Experience and the History Department’s unique Public History Field Experience class, which introduces majors to careers that draw on a background in history. During the latter’s first decade, he placed 629 students in 116 museums and historic sites around the state, logging nearly 9,500 volunteer hours. His newest class is Engaging Sources: Monuments and Memory, which fulfills the creativity requirement for UNIFI.

Dr. Connors has also been active in the community, helping found the city’s Historical Preservation Commission, co-writing five documentaries on local history, and working with students to create a website mapping local history. His students’ research on the buildings in Cedar Falls’ Main Street district contributed to its successful nomination to the National Register of Historical Places in 2017. 

Research Interests

Along with several articles on Irish history, Dr. Connors has published on the landscape of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow and the place of New Mexico in American history. His current research focuses on national pantheons as a global phenomenon, examining places where countries entomb their greatest men and women in monumental spaces designed to inspire national pride. Dr. Connors also has expertise in history education, and has worked with approximately 2,000 teachers in 30 states over the past 15 years. He’s also designed and led tours of 65 cemeteries in 25 states, ranging from Orlando to Fairbanks. He was the principal historian and writer for the National Cemetery Administration’s Veterans Legacy Program in 2014-16, developing lesson plans, short videos, interactive maps, and a research guide. 

Professional Accomplishments

Professor Connors’ most recent article, “Looking for the Northern American Invasion in Mexico City”, co-written with alumnus Raúl Muñoz ‘13, was published in the American Historical Review in April 2020 (Vol. 125:2, 498-516). A reunion of UNI alumni in Mexico’s capital city leads us to reflect on how the U.S. War with Mexico in 1846-47 is remembered on both sides of the border today.  A link to download a pdf of this article can be found here. He received a grant from Silos and Smokestacks in 2022 to support his Underground Iowans project.