Julia Adams

Julia Adams's picture
Professor, Sociology and International & Area Studies
Deputy Provost, Social Sciences and Faculty Development and Diversity
Division Director, Social Sciences, Yale University
Areas of Interest: 
Comparative and Historical Sociology; Culture/Knowledge; Family/Gender/Sexuality; Global, Regional and Transnational Sociology; Political Sociology and Social Movements; Theory.
Provost’s Office, Yale University, 1 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
Phone number: 
203-432-2049 (Deputy Provost office phone),
203-432-3332 (Faculty Office),
203-432-1430 (Lindsay Ficano, Sr. Admin. Asst.),
203-432-7107 (Deputy Provost office fax)

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

Recent Publications

Books and Volumes
Selected Articles
Selected Chapters


Series Editor

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.


National & International