Julia Adams teaches and conducts research in the areas of state formation; gender and family; social theory and knowledge; early modern European politics, and colonialism and empire. She is currently studying (1) large-scale forms of patriarchal politics; (2) the historical sociology of agency relations, and (3) gender and Wikipedia.
She was previously the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. Adams graduated from Reed College and did her graduate work in sociology (with a combined minor in history and anthropology) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She served as 2008-9 President of the Social Science History Association and 2012-13 Chair of the Global and Transnational section of the American Sociological Association. At Yale she directs the Division of the Social Sciences; the Fox Fellowship Program, co-directs CCR (the Center for Comparative Research) and is on the Steering Committee of CHESS (Center for Historical Enquiry and the Social Sciences). She also coedits (with George Steinmetz) the Series in Politics, History and Culture at Duke University Press.
In 2013, Adams was awarded a two-year National Science Foundation grant for collaborative research with Hannah Brueckner (Associate Dean of Social Science, NYU-Abu Dhabi) on “Wikipedia and the Democratization of Academic Knowledge.” The investigators are exploring gender-specific patterns of representation of scholars and scholarship. One of the project’s goals is to contribute to improving quality and reducing bias on academic – and more general – Wikipedia.
Her book The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe (Cornell, 2005) won the Gaddis Smith Book Prize. With Mounira Maya Charrad, she co-edited a 2011 Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences volume, titled Patrimonial Politics in the Modern World. With Elisabeth S. Clemens and Ann Shola Orloff, she edited Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology (Duke, 2005). Her work has twice won the Barrington Moore Jr. Award for Best Article given by the ASA section in Comparative and Historical Sociology.
SSHA Presidential Address
- Adams’ presidential address, “1-800-How-Am-I-Driving? Agency in Social Science History,” is available for download on the SSHA web site. The complete written version can be found in Vol. 35 #1 (Spring 2011) of Social Science History, pp. 1-17.
Books and Volumes
- Adams, Julia and Mounira Maya Charrad (2011). Patrimonial Power in the Modern World. (The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Adams, Julia (2005). The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Adams, Julia, Elisabeth S. Clemens and Ann Shola Orloff (2005). Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Liping Wang and Julia Adams, “Interlocking Patrimonialisms and State Formation in Qing China and Early Modern Europe,” in J. Adams and M. M. Charrad, Special Editors. (2011) Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 636 (July): Washington, DC: Sage. Hear the podcast interview »
- Isaac Ariail Reed and Julia Adams (2011). “Culture in the Transitions to Modernity: Seven Pillars of a New Research Agenda,” Theory & Society, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 247-272.
- David L. Weakliem and Julia Adams (2011) “What Do We Mean by “Class Politics”?” Politics & Society Volume 39 Issue 4 December 2011 pp. 475 - 496.
- Adams, Julia (2010). “The Unknown James Coleman: Culture and History in Foundations of Social Theory,” pp 237-294 in Contemporary Sociology, Vol 39, #3, 253-8, 2010.
- Adams, Julia (2008). “Scholarly Controversy: The Familial State,” pp 237-294 in Political Power and Social Theory, Vol 19, 2008.
- Adams, Julia and Ann Shola Orloff (2005). “Defending Modernity? High Politics, Feminist Anti-Modernism and the Place of Gender,” in Politics and Gender, 1 (1).
- Adams, Julia and Tasleem Padamsee (2001). “Signs and Regimes: Rereading Feminist Work on Welfare States,” Social Politics, 8 (1): 1-23.
- Adams, Julia (1996). “Principals and Agents, Colonialists and Company Men: The Decay of Colonial Control in the Dutch East Indies,” American Sociological Review, 61 (1): 12-28.
- Sara McLanahan and Julia Adams. (1987) “Parenthood and Psychological Wellbeing,” Annual Review of Sociology 13, eds. R. Turner and J. Short. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews: 237-57
- Adams, Julia (2005). “The Rule of the Father: Patriarchy and Patrimonialism in Early Modern Europe,” pp. 237-266 in C. Camic, P. S. Gorski and D. M. Trubek (eds.), Max Weber’s Economy and Society: A Critical Companion. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Adams, Julia (1999). “Culture in Rational-Choice Theories of State Formation,” pp. 98-122 in G. Steinmetz (ed.), State/Culture: State Formation After the Cultural Turn. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Politics, History and Culture Series (published by Duke University Press): Julia Adams and George Steinmetz, co-editors.
Courses and Seminars
- SOCY115, Contemporary American Society.
- SOCY121, The Sociological Imagination.
- SOCY160, Methods of Inquiry.
- SOCY210, Sociology of the Welfare State.
- SOCY542, Sociological Theory.
- SOCY557, Political Sociology.
- SOCY560, Comparative Research Workshop.
- SOCY590, Early Modern Empires: Theory and History.
- SOCY612, Agency and Action.
- Center for Comparative Research
- European Studies Council
- Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
- Transitions to Modernity Colloquium
- Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
National & International
- American Sociological Association (ASA):
- Council for European Studies
- International Institute of Sociology
- International Sociological Association
- North American Conference on British Studies
- Social Science History Association
- Society for Comparative Research
- Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics
- Sociologists for Women in Society