:: CHAIR: Roberts, Jennifer L
James T. Kloppenberg is Charles Warren Professor of American History, specializing in American and European intellectual history. He has written about the rise and fall of social democracy in Europe and America; eighteenth-century American politics and ideas; the career of the American philosophy of pragmatism from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century; European interpretations of American culture from Tocqueville through Weber; and the relation between contemporary critical theory and historical writing. His courses cover European and American thought, culture, and politics from the ancient world to the present.
He has been chair of the History of American Civilization program, and has addressed the direction of the field in "Transnational and Multi-Disciplinary: The New Goals of American Studies Programs," American Studies Association Newsletter 28 (March 2005). His books include The Virtues of Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 1998), A Companion to American Thought (Blackwell, 1995), co-edited with Richard Wightman Fox; and Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Professivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920 (Oxford University Press, 1986).
Current research projects include the theory and practice of democracy in Europe and America from Pericles to Lincoln; American political thought from Roger Williams to Barack Obama; the philosophy of pragmatism in American culture; and a collection of essays on the practice of pragmatic hermeneutics in historical writing.
Professor Kloppenberg was born in Denver and educated at Dartmouth (A.B. 1973) and Stanford (M.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1980). He enjoys playing tennis, swimming, hiking, and following the Red Sox, the Celtics, and soccer everywhere. He and his wife Mary have lived in Wellesley, MA, since 1980. He has held fellowships from the Danforth, Whiting, and Guggenheim foundations, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has held the Pitt professorship at the University of Cambridge, has taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and has lectured in Britain, Europe, and the US. Additionally, he serves on the faculty of the undergraduate concentrations in History and Literature and Social Studies. In recognition of his teaching, he has been named a Harvard College Professor and awarded the Levinson Memorial Teaching Prize by the Harvard Undergraduate Council. He will next be on sabbatical leave in 2012-2013.
Professor Kloppenberg is serving, and/or has served, on the following American Civilization dissertation committee(s):
“Academic Populism: The People’s Revolt and Public Higher Education, 1880-1905” (Scott Gelber)
“The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Stalinism” (Michael Kimmage)
“Postwar Liberalism and the Origins of Brown v. Board of Education” (Christopher Schmidt)
Contact information: James Kloppenberg, History Department