OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

James T. Kloppenberg

Portrait of James T. Kloppenberg

James T. Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. He has written about social democracy in Europe and America, American politics and ideas from the seventeenth century to the present, the American philosophy of pragmatism, and the relation between contemporary critical theory and historical writing. His most recent book, Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition (2011), explains the reasons for Barack Obama’s commitments to democratic deliberation and conciliation by examining his intellectual formation and his understanding of American history. His current research projects include “The Intellectual Origins of Democracy in Europe and America,” “The American Democratic Tradition: Roger Williams to Barack Obama,” and an essay collection on the practice of pragmatic hermeneutics in historical writing. In recognition of his teaching, he has been named a Harvard College Professor and has been awarded the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize by the Harvard University Undergraduate Council.

OAH Lectures