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James Kloppenberg

Seminar Co-chair


James Kloppenberg

James Kloppenberg is a Harvard College Professor and was awarded the Levinson Memorial Teaching Prize by the Harvard Undergraduate Council. He teaches courses on European and American thought, culture, and politics from the ancient world to the present. He serves as the chair of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, as well as on the faculty of the graduate program in American Studies and the undergraduate concentration in history and literature.

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 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.

His book Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (Oxford University Press, 2016), presents the history of democracy from the perspective of those who struggled to envision and achieve it.


  • Charles Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University
  • Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University