Miller Center


The Miller Center for Public Affairs has awarded more than 82 Fellowships to outstanding graduate students interested in ideas and issues related to American Political Development. The Fellowship includes pairing each Fellow with a "dream mentor" and over the years numerous scholars have worked with our Fellows. This page is a repository of Miller Center Fellows' mentors.

Andy Achenbaum


Professor of Social Work and History, University of Houston

Advisee(s): Katie Otis  

Andy Achenbaum's work focuses on the history of aging, on which he has written five books: Older Americans: Vital Communities – Toward a Bold Vision of Societal Aging; Crossing Frontiers: Gerontology Emerges as a Science; Social Security: Visions and Revisions; Shades of Gray: Old Age, American Values and Federal Policies; and Old Age in the New Land: The American Experience Since 1790. He has also co-authored a number of books, including Profiles in Gerontology: A Biographical Dictionary (with Daniel M. Albert) and Changing Perceptions of Aging and the Aged (with Dena Shenk).

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Richard Andrews


Professor of Environmental Policy, University of North Carolina

Advisee(s): Josh Ashenmiller  

Richard “Pete” Andrews is Professor of Environmental Policy in the Department of Public Policy, UNC College of Arts and Sciences; he also holds joint appointments in the Department of City and Regional Planning and in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, and the Carolina Institute for the Environment. From 2004 to 2009 he held the first Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Professorship in Public Policy. His research interests include environmental policy institutions and instruments, environmental policy analysis, and United States and comparative environmental policy. He has written many books, articles, and public policy reports, including Managing the Environment, Managing Ourselves: A History of American Environmental Policy; "Politics, Economics, and Perceptions" in Conservation Biology (December 2001); and "The Environment in Business Decision Making" in Decision Making for the Environment: Social and Behavioral Science Research Priorities.

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Kwame Anthony Appiah


Professor of Philosophy and Law, New York University

Advisee(s): Christopher LeBron  

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. His research interests include the ethics and philosophy of the mind and language, political philosophy, and African and African-American intellectual history. His recent publications include Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, The Ethics of Identity, and Thinking It Through. Among his other books are In My Father's House,Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (co-authored with Amy Gutmann), and Bu Me Bé: Proverbs of the Akan (co-authored with Peggy Appiah).

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Brian Balogh


Compton Professor of History, University of Virginia

Advisee(s): Sarah Robey  

Brian Balogh is the Compton Professor at the Miller Center and the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. He founded the Miller Center National Fellowship and currently chairs that program. His most recent books are The Associational State: American Governance in the Twentieth Century (Penn Press, 2015) and A Government out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Balogh is currently working on two book-length projects: In the Nation’s Backyard: How History Preserved Rural Life in Green Springs, 1970 to the Present and Building a Modern State: Gifford Pinchot and the Tangled Roots of Administration in the United States. His work explores U.S. political history, environmental history, and the history of technology. Balogh is the co-host of Backstory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show that appears on Public Broadcasting Stations across the country.

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Michael Barnett


Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, Political Science, George Washington University

Advisee(s): Amanda Rothschild  

Mentor:  Michael Barnett is Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University.  His research interests include the Middle East, humanitarian action, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are, Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda; Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order; Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism; and Rules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics (with Martha Finnemore).
 His current research projects range from international paternalism, the changing architecture of global governance, to the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. His most recent book is, The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of the American Jews (Princeton University Press).  Professor Barnett is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of many grants and awards for his research.

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Mark R. Beissinger


Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics; Director, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University

Advisee(s): Jesse Driscoll  

Mark Beissinger is the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics and Director of Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. His main fields of interest are nationalism, state-building, imperialism, and social movements, with special reference to the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet states. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is author or editor of four books, including Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He was the founding Director of Wisconsin's Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (1992–98), and was Chair of Wisconsin's Political Science Department (2001–04). He currently serves as Past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and as Vice President of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. His research has been supported by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Olin Foundations. 

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Gerald Berk


Professor of Political Science; Director of Graduate Studies, University of Oregon

Advisee(s): Andrew Kelly  

Gerald Berk is Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon.  His research interests include: American Political Development, Business Regulation, Economic Sociology, and Social Theory.

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Michael Bernstein


Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Professor of History and Economics, Tulane University

Advisee(s): Derek Hoff  

Michael Bernstein's teaching and research interests focus on the economic and political history of the United States, macroeconomic theory, industrial organization economics, and the history of economic theory.  His publications explore the connections between political and economic processes in modern industrial societies, as well as the interaction of economic knowledge and professional expertise with those processes as a whole. Along with numerous articles and anthology chapters, Bernstein has published four volumes: The Great Depression: Delayed Recovery and Economic Change in America, 1929-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 1987); Understanding American Economic Decline [co-edited with David Adler] (Cambridge University Press, 1994); The Cold War and Expert Knowledge: New Essays on the History of the National Security State [co-edited with Allen Hunter] (a special issue of the Radical History Review 63 (Fall, 1995); and A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2001).

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Sarah Binder


Professor, Political Science, George Washington University

Advisee(s): Emily Baer  

Sarah Binder is Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and Senior Fellow of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute.  Binder's current research explores the relationship between Congress and the Federal Reserve over the Fed’s hundred-year history. She is also a contributor to the Washington Post's Monkey Cage.  Binder is a former co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly, a co-author with Forrest Maltzman of Advice and Dissent: The Struggle to Shape the Federal Judiciary (Brookings, 2009), author of Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock (Brookings, 2003) which was awarded the 2003 Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize by the American Political Science Association for the best book published on legislative politics. Her other work on congressional politics has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and elsewhere and she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.  Binder received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and B.A. from Yale University in 1986. 

Categories: Mentors

Martha Biondi


Martha Biondi is Chair of the Department of African American Studies and Professor of African American Studies and History, Northwestern University

Advisee(s): Heather Lewis  

Biondi's research focuses on 20th-century African-American history with an emphasis on social movements, politics, labor, gender, cities, and international affairs.  She is the author of The Black Revolution on Campus (University of California Press, 2012).  Her book describes an extraordinary but forgotten chapter of the black freedom struggle, detailing the efforts of black students in the late 1960s and early 1970s to organizee hundreds of protests that in turned sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. Vividly demonstrating the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture, the book illustrates how victories in establishing black studies ultimately produced important intellectual innovations and had a lasting impact on academic research and university curricula over the past 40 years. Biondi has also written To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City, for which she received the Myers Outstanding Book Award (2004) from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, and the Thomas J. Wilson Prize, awarded by the Board of Syndics of Harvard University Press for the best first book of the year, in 2003.

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Thomas Borstelmann


2015 E.N. and Katherine Thompson Professor of Modern World History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Advisee(s): Elizabeth Ingleson  

Thomas Borstelmann has been the Elwood N. and Katherine Thompson Distinguished Professor of Modern World History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 2003. He spent the previous twelve years as a member of the History Department at Cornell University.

A native of North Carolina, Borstelmann graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy and holds a B.A. (1980) from Stanford University and an M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1990) from Duke University. His research focuses on the intersection of United States domestic history and international history. His first book, Apartheid’s Reluctant Uncle: The United States and Southern Africa in the Early Cold War (Oxford University Press, 1993), won the Stuart Bernath Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for the best first book in American diplomatic history.

Borstelmann has also published The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena (Harvard University Press, 2001) and has coauthored a major U.S. history textbook, Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States (Pearson Longman Publishers, 4th edition, 2013). His most recent book is The 1970s: A New Global History from Civil Rights to Economic Inequality (Princeton University Press, 2012). He is currently at work on a book on how Americans have understood non-Americans across the sweep of U.S. history.

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Mark Brilliant


Associate Professor, History, University of California, Berkeley

Advisee(s): Jeannette Estruth  

Mark Brilliant is Associate Professor of History at University of California, Berkeley. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Brown University and in 2002, completed his Ph.D in history at Stanford University.  Brilliant’s first published book, The Color of America Has Changed: How Racial Diversity Shaped Civil Rights Reform in California, 1941-1978 (Oxford University Press, 2010) won the Cromwell Book Prize from the American Society for Legal History and received honorable mention from the Organization of American Historians for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award.  Current work on a new book titled, entitled From School Bus to Google Bus: A New Politics, a New Economy, and the Rise of a New Gilded Age, Brilliant examines the relationship between the new (post-industrial, high technology) economy and the new (post-New Deal, post-Great Society, bipartisan neoliberal) politics from the late 1960s through the late 1980s and how they contributed to the rise of the New (or Second) Gilded Age, as it would come to be known.

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Lawrence Brown


Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University

Advisee(s): Nicole Kazee  

Lawrence Brown, Columbia University Professor of Health Policy and Management, is an expert in the fields of health care reform, health care policy, competition and regulation, and the uninsured. He has written many books and articles, including Health Policy and the Disadvantaged; Politics and Health Care Organizations: Health Maintenance Organizations as Federal Policy; "Competition and the New Accountability: Do Market Incentives and Medical Outcomes Conflict or Cohere?" in Competitive Approaches to Health Care Reform; and "The National Politics of Oregon's Rationing Plan," in Health Affairs (Summer 1991).

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W. Elliot Brownlee


Professor Emeritus of American Economic History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Advisee(s): Ajay Mehrotra  

W. Elliot Brownlee is Professor Emeritus of American Economic History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current research interests include the financing of World War I, taxing and spending during the Reagan Presidency, and comparative fiscal history of Japan and the United States since World War I. Among his recent publications are Federal Taxation in America: A Short History; The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and its Legacies (co-edited with Hugh Davis Graham); and "Taxation in the U.S. during World War I: Alternatives and Legacies" in Taxation, State, and Civil Society in Germany and the United States from the 18th to the 20th Century.

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Tom Burke


Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College

Advisee(s): Emily Zackin  

In addition to his time at Wellesley, Tom Burke has been a visiting professor at Harvard and at the University of California–Berkeley, and a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and with the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Program.  His research focuses on the place of rights and litigation in public policy. Tom’s research focuses on the place of rights and litigation in public policy. His most recent project, with co-author Jeb Barnes, examines how the American emphasis on court-based rights shapes U.S. politics. Another project, also with Barnes, examines how organizations respond to social change laws. Recent publications include "Making Way: Legal Mobilization, Organizational Response and Wheelchair Access (Law and Society Review, 2012) and "Is There an Empirical Literature on Rights?" (Studies in Law, Politics and Society, 2009).

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Daniel L. Byman


Professor of Security Studies and Government, Georgetown University

Advisee(s): Walter Ladwig  

In addition to serving as a professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service,  Daniel Byman has an appointment in the Georgetown department of Government.  He served as director of Georgetown's Security Studies Program and Center for Security Studies from 2005 until 2010.  Professor Byman is a Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. From 2002 to 2004 he served as a Professional Staff Member with the 9/11 Commission and with the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Before joining the Inquiry Staff he was the Research Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. Previous to this, Professor Byman worked as an analyst on the Middle East for the U.S. government.  He is the author of A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (Oxford, 2011); The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global Jihad (Wiley, 2007); Deadly Connections: States that Sponsor Terrorism (Cambridge, 2005); Keeping the Peace: Lasting Solutions to Ethnic Conflict (Johns Hopkins, 2002); and co-author of Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from the Iraqi Civil War (Brookings, 2007) and The Dynamics of Coercion: American Foreign Policy and the Limits of Military Might (Cambridge, 2002). Professor Byman has also written extensively on a range of topics related to terrorism, international security, civil and ethnic conflict, and the Middle East. His recent articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, as well as journals including Political Science QuarterlyStudies in Conflict and TerrorismInternational Security, and Journal of Strategic Studies. You can follow Professor Byman on twitter@dbyman.

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Geraldo Cadava


Assistant Professor, History, Northwestern University

Advisee(s): Adam Goodman  

Geraldo Cadava (Ph.D. Yale University, 2008) specializes in United States history, with emphases on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and Latino populations. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, he came to Northwestern after finishing degrees at Yale University and Dartmouth College (B.A., 2000). He teaches courses on Latino History, the United-States Mexico Borderlands, Comparative American Borderlands, the American West, and the United States since the colonial period.

His book Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard University Press, Fall 2013) won the 2014 Frederick Jackson Turner Award. It is about the shared cultural and commercial ties between Arizona and Sonora that demonstrate how the United States and Mexico continue to shape one another, despite their political and ethnic divisions.

He is beginning a project on Latino Conservatism, and other research interests include the U.S.-Mexico border; memories of the U.S.-Mexico War between 1846 and 1916; and the movement of Mexican and Mexican American artists between Mexico and the United States, from 1920 to 2000.

His writing has appeared in The Journal of American History, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Arizona Daily Star, and in the publications of the Immigration Policy Center, the National Park Service, and the American Historical Association.

Categories: Immigration PolicyLatin AmericaMentors

Andrea Louise Campbell


Associate Professor, Political Science, MIT

Advisee(s): Laura Blessing  

ANDREA LOUISE CAMPBELL is associate professor in the department of political science at MIT. She is author of How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Citizen Activism and the American Welfare State as well as The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Provision (with Kimberly Morgan). Martin’s interests include American politics, political behavior, public opinion, and political inequality, particularly their intersection with social welfare policy, health policy, and tax policy. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and served on the National Academy of Sciences Commission on the Fiscal Future of the United States.

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Margot Canaday


Associate Professor of History, Princeton University

Advisee(s): Rachel Moran  

Margot Canaday is a legal and political historian who studies gender and sexuality in modern America. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (Princeton, 2009), won the Organization of American Historians' Ellis Hawley Prize, the American Political Science Association's Gladys M. Kammerer Award (co-winner), the American Studies Association's Lora Romero Prize, the American Society for Legal History's Cromwell Book Prize, the Committee on LGBT History's John Boswell Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Studies, as well as the Association of American Law Schools' Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award. Canaday has won fellowships from, among others, the Social Science Research Council, the Princeton University Society of Fellows, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. With Thomas Sugrue, Glenda Gilmore, and Michael Kazin, she is co-editor of the series Politics and Culture in Modern America at the University of Pennsylvania Press. 

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Dan Carpenter


Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, Government, Harvard University

Advisee(s): Quinn Mulroy  Joanna Grisinger  Dominique Tobbell  Charles Halvorson  

Daniel Carpenter graduated from Georgetown University in 1989 with distinction in Honors Government and received his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago in 1996. He taught previously at Princeton University (1995-1998) and the University of Michigan (1998-2002). He joined the Harvard University faculty in 2002. Dr. Carpenter's primary interest is in the theoretical, historical and quantitative analysis of American political development, public bureaucracies and government regulation, particularly regulation of health products.


His dissertation received the 1998 Harold D. Lasswell Award from the American Political Science Association and as a book—The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001)—was awarded the APSA's Gladys Kammerer Prize as well as the Charles Levine Prize of the International Political Science Association. His newly published book on pharmaceutical regulation in the United States is entitled Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).

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Elisabeth Clemens


William Rainey Harper Professor of Sociology and Department Chair, University of Chicago

Advisee(s): Shamira Gelbman  Emily Charnock  

Elisabeth Clemens analyzes the processes behind institutional change. She is currently researching the privatization of public education. She has written many books and articles, including The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890–1925; "The Typical Tools for the Job: Research Strategies in Institutional Analysis" (with Marc Schneiberg) in Sociological Theory (September 2006); and "Sociology as a Historical Science" in The American Sociologist (Summer 2006). She also co-edited Remaking Modernity: Politics and Processes in Historical Sociology with Julia Adams and Ann Shola Orloff.

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Elizabeth Cobbs


Professor and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M University

Advisee(s): Katherine Unterman  

Elizabeth Cobbs (also published as Lisa Cobbs Hoffman) is Professor and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History at Texas A&M University and Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. She writes, lectures, and produces documentaries on world history, the history of US foreign relations, and current international policy. She has won literary prizes for both history and fiction, and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, China Daily News, Washington Independent, San Diego Union, Reuters, and other distinguished publications. She has appeared on the Today Show, Morning Joe Show, and National Public Radio. Her next book, forthcoming in 2016 from Skyhorse Publishing, is a novel based on the remarkable life of Alexander Hamilton and his courageous wife Eliza Schuyler. She is co-producer and writer of the upcoming PBS documentary based on her book, American Umpire.

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David C. Colby


Vice President of Research and Evaluation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


As vice president of research and evaluation, Colby leads a team dedicated to improving the nation's ability to understand key health and health care issues so that informed decisions can be made concerning the way Americans maintain health and obtain health care. He is guided by the principle that research speaks truth to power when it is practical and communicated to a broader audience, and views his role of developing and disseminating focused research doing just that.  Prior to his current position, Colby served in a myriad of leadership roles at the Foundation.  Previously, he served as the deputy director of two commissions: the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Physician Payment Review Commission. He is also a former coordinator of the Masters of Policy Sciences Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County as well as a former assistant dean at Williams College. Colby’s published research has focused on Medicaid and Medicare, media coverage of AIDS, and, in political science, civil rights. He was an associate editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law from 1995 to 2002. In 2000, he was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance for his contributions to the nation’s understanding of social insurance programs.  Born in California, he received a PhD in political science from the University of Illinois, an MA from Ohio University, and a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Categories: Mentors

Nathan Connolly


Nathan Connolly is Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University., History, University of Michigan

Advisee(s): Leif Fredrickson  

Connolly’s research focuses on the interplay between racism, capitalism, politics, and the built environment in the twentieth century, with special attention to people’s overlapping understandings of property rights and civil rights in the United States and the wider Americas.  Connolly’s book, A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, (University of Chicago Press, 2014) received the 2015 Liberty Legacy Foundation Book Award from the Organization of American Historians and the 2014 Kenneth T. Jackson Book Award from the Urban History Association.

Connolly is currently at work on two new book-length projects.  The first is Four Daughters: An America Story. This collective biography covers three generations of a single family, following the lives of four women of color whose forbearers migrated from the Caribbean to the United States by way of Britain between the 1930s and 1990s.  The second, Black Capitalism: The "Negro Problem" and the American Economy offers the first sweeping account of how black economic success shaped the way Americans and immigrants understood the possibilities offered by capitalism in the United States.

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Jefferson Cowie


Professor, History, Vanderbilt University

Advisee(s): Christopher Cimaglio  

Jefferson Cowie is a social and political historian whose research and teaching focus on how class, inequality, and work shape American capitalism, politics, and culture.  His most recent book, The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (Princeton University Press, 2016), is a broad stroke reinterpretation of twentieth century American politics. Another book, Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, (New York: The New Press, 2010) coalesces labor, politics, and popular culture into a vibrant narrative about the decline of class in American political culture. It received a number of “best book” awards and citations.  In addition to his scholarship, Cowie’s essays, reviews, and opinion pieces have also appeared in the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Ed, American Prospect, Politico, Democracy, The New Republic, Chicago Tribune, Inside Higher Ed, Dissent, and other popular outlets

Prior to coming to Vanderbilt in spring 2016, Cowie taught at Cornell University for 18 years, where he also served as Chair of the Department of Labor Relations, Law, and History in the ILR School. 

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