Democracy Studies Speaker Series
"The American Democratic Tradition: From Roger Williams to Barack Obama"
Friday, February 24, 2012
25 West 11th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
(Located across 11th Avenue from Drinko Hall and above Panera Bread)
James T. Kloppenberg is Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. His research focus is on American and European intellectual history, and he teaches courses on European and American thought, culture, and politics from the ancient world to the present.
Kloppenberg's most recent book is Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition (Princeton University Press, 2011), which explains the reasons for Obama's commitments to democratic deliberation and conciliation by examining his intellectual formation and his understanding of American history.
Kloppenberg's current research projects include "The Intellectual Origins of Democracy in Europe and America" (to be published by Oxford University Press); "The American Democratic Tradition: Roger Williams to Barack Obama" (to be published by Princeton University Press); varieties of philosophical pragmatism in American culture from the 19th to the 21st centuries; and an essay collection on the practice of pragmatic hermeneutics in historical writing. He will next be on sabbatical leave in 2012-13.
Kloppenberg 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 throughout Britain, Europe, and the United States. He has written about the rise and fall of social democracy in Europe and America; American politics and ideas from the seventeenth century to the present; the American philosophy of pragmatism; European observers of America from Tocqueville through Weber; and the relation between contemporary critical theory and historical writing.
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 serves on the faculty of the graduate program in the History of American Civilization and the undergraduate concentrations in History and Literature and Social Studies.
Kloppenberg was educated at Dartmouth (AB, 1973) and Stanford (MA, 1976, PhD, 1980).