Robin Faith Bachin

Assoc. Professor
Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement

(305) 284-1047
Locator Code:


Robin F. Bachin is the Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History and the Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement at the University of Miami (UM). She received her B.A. from Brandeis University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, with Highest Honors in History and the History of Ideas. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. Her areas of research and teaching include American urban, environmental, and cultural history. Bachin has published numerous articles and book chapters, and delivered scholarly presentations, on topics including universities and community engagement, urban planning and public space, community development and urban design, and the intersections of urban and environmental history.  Her first book, Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919 (University of Chicago Press in 2004) won the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Illinois History and Heritage. Bachin’s latest book is “Big Bosses:” A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Her current book projects are Tropical Urbanism: Modernity, Exoticism, and the Creation of South Florida, and a co-edited volume, Engaging Place, Engaging Practices: Urban History and Campus-Community Collaboration.

Bachin has developed a number of projects that bridge the gap between the academy and the public, including several digital humanities initiatives. She was one of the first recipients of the University of Miami Library Digital Fellowships, which supported the creation of her digital archive on “Travel, Tourism, and Urban Growth in Greater Miami” In addition, she is project director for the Miami Housing Solutions Lab,  an online platform that includes resources, tools, and data related to affordable housing and community development in the Miami metro area. The Lab provides community groups, planners, policymakers, and affordable housing developers with information on local housing needs as well as housing policies that prevent displacement and promote affordable housing Bachin also served as a historical advisor for “Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham’s Vision of an American Metropolis: A Digital Exhibition” She was guest curator of an exhibition at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach entitled "In Pursuit of Pleasure: Schultze and Weaver and the American Hotel;” Princeton Architectural Press published the exhibition catalogue, Grand Hotels of the Jazz Age. She also was a senior consulting editor on The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia and an Advisory Board member of the Encyclopedia of Chicago

Connecting the academy and the public has been central to Bachin’s academic career, and shaped her desire to found the Office of Civic and Community Engagement at UM. Her efforts have been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2016 Spirit of Service-Learning Award from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of America, the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Key of Excellence Award, and the 2013 Community Engagement Educator Award. She also led the effort for UM to receive the 2016 award for Most Engaged Institution of Higher Education from Florida Campus Compact and the 2015 Carnegie Classification in Community Engagement.

Bachin also has received numerous awards and fellowships for her scholarship and teaching, including the John Reps Prize for Distinguished Dissertation in Urban Planning History; the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Scholarly Excellence. In addition, she has received fellowships from the Graham Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Teagle Foundation, and the Driehaus Foundation. She also has received funding support from JPMorgan Chase, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Citi Foundation, the Miami-Dade County Housing Finance Authority, the Health Foundation of South Florida, and the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development department to support several projects that promote affordable housing and urban revitalization in South Florida. She currently serves on the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Housing Solutions Committee.

Bachin is a member of the Aspen Institute Working Group on Inclusive Innovation in America’s Cities,  Past President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, and has served on the Boards of Directors of Imagining America, the Urban History Association, the Miami Consortium for Urban Studies, the Good Government Initiative, and the Urban Environment League of Greater Miami. She has been interviewed by various media outlets, including BBC America, The Today Show, National Public Radio, and NBC television. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Miami, she was the Assistant Director of the Scholl Center for American History and Culture at the Newberry Library in Chicago, where she served as Project Coordinator for the National Park Service’s Labor History Landmark Project and founder of the Urban History Dissertation Group.


1996Ph.D. University of Michigan
University of Michigan
B.A. Brandeis University


Robin Bachin Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America (University of Chicago Press. 2016). [Link]

Robin Bachin (University of Chicago Press. 2004).

Marianne Lamonaca (11/1/2005). [Link]