Eric Fenrich


Instructor

US Since 1945, Cold War, NASA, Civil Rights


Lindquist Hall 263
801- 626-6709
ericfenrich@weber.edu

Research and Teaching Areas

U.S. History 
The Cold War
The Space Race & The Civil Rights Movement
U.S. Foreign Policy
The Politics of the Olympic Movement

Degrees 

Ph.D., History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015.
M.A., History, California State University, Fullerton, 2007. 
B.A., Business Administration, California State University, Fullerton, 1990.

Courses

HIST 1700 American Civilization, 1492 to Present
HIST 2710 - History of the United States since 1877
HIST 4070 - Twentieth-Century United States since 1945

Biography

Eric Fenrich earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton before returning to the same school to study for his master’s degree in history. He then received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015 where he specialized in American history during the Cold War. His paper, “Detente and Dissent: Apollo-Soyuz, Ruth Bates Harris, and NASA’s Rhetoric of Cooperation” won the 2014 Sacknoff Prize for original research by in the field of space history. 

Fenrich served as a historical advisor for the PBS series “Chasing the Moon.” He is currently working on his book, The Face of NASA: Racial Inclusion in the American Space Program, 1957-86 which examines the role of NASA management and Black activist groups in integrating the space agency’s workforce, including its astronaut corp.

Publications

Book (in progress): The Face of NASA: Racial Inclusion in the American Space Program, 1957-86.
Book Chapter: "The Gates of Opportunity: NASA, Black Activism, and Educational Access” in NASA and the “Long” Civil Rights Movement, Brian Odom and Stephen P. Waring, eds. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019: 206-218.
Book Review: Paul, Richard, and Steven Moss. We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015) in Essays in History (2016), available online.
Article: "Détente and Dissent: Apollo-Soyuz, Ruth Bates Harris, and NASA’s Rhetoric of Cooperation,” Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly, 22:1 (2015): 4-15.
Article: “Irony in Indonesia: Promises, Aspirations, and the Japanese Military Presence, 1942-46,” Welebaethan: Journal of History (2007): 85-96.

Consulting

Historical Advisor, “Chasing the Moon,” PBS American Experience, Susan Bellows, Producer, 2019.

Conference Participation

Paper: "The Gates of Opportunity: NASA, Black Activism, and Educational Access,” NASA in the “Long” Civil Rights Movement Symposium, University of Alabama, Huntsville, 17 March 2017.
Invited Talk: "Détente and Dissent: Apollo-Soyuz, Ruth Bates Harris, and NASA’s Rhetoric of Cooperation,” Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting, Dearborn, Michigan, 9 November 2014.
Paper: “Détente and Dissent: Apollo-Soyuz, Ruth Bates Harris, and NASA’s Rhetoric of Cooperation.” Graduate Symposium on the Cold War and International History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 12 April 2014.
Paper: “Nine Black Kids and a Silver Ball: Little Rock, Sputnik, and the American International Image.” Graduate Symposium on the Cold War and International History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 22 February 2013.
Commentator: Graduate Student Symposium on the Cold War and International History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 22 February 2013.
Paper: “Guns, Butter, or Rockets: The Evolution of Presidential Rhetoric during the Race to the Moon.” International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, Santa Barbara, CA, 16 April 2011.
Paper: “Preparation and Responsibility: Judy Chapel and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Regional Conference, Orange, CA, 12 April 2008.
Paper: “The Constant and Changing Experience of American Military Combat.” Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Regional Conference, Fullerton, CA, 29 April 2006.

Departmental / University Service

2016    MBA Course Review Committee – Santa Barbara Business College
2014-2015    Assistant Administrator - UCSB Center for Cold War Studies and International History
2014-2015    VP Communications - UCSB History Graduate Students Association
2013-2014    Curriculum Committee, UCSB History Department
2013-2014    Vice-President - UCSB History Graduate Students Association
2012-2014    History Department Representative - UCSB Graduate Students Association

Awards And Fellowships

2014 Sacknoff Prize for Space History 
2013 Philip & Aida Siff Educational Graduate Fellowship
2012 UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Predoctoral Fellowship
2012 Richard and Jeanne Williams Endowed Graduate Fellowship
2012 UCSB Bernath Research Prize
2010 Donald Van Gelderen Memorial Challenge

Professional Affiliations

American Historical Association
Organization of American Historians
Society for the History of Technology