Julia Adams teaches and conducts research in the areas of state building; gender and family; social theory and knowledge; early modern European politics, and colonialism and empire. Her current research focuses on (1) large-scale forms of patrimonial politics; (2) the historical sociology of agency relations and modernity, and (3) gender, race, and the representation of academic knowledge on Wikipedia and other digital platforms.
Adams is Professor of Sociology and International & Area Studies and Head of Grace Hopper College. She also co-directs YaleCHESS (Center for Historical Enquiry and the Social Sciences) and is on the Board of Reed College.
Adams received a National Science Foundation grant for Collaborative research with Hannah Bruckner (Vice-Provost for Faculty Diversity, NYU-Abu Dhabi) on “Wikipedia and the Democratization of Academic Knowledge. “ The investigators are analyzing the representation of scholars and scholarship, including gender- and race - specific patterns. One of the project’s goals is to contribute to improving quality and reducing potential bias on digital platforms.
Adams’ book The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe (Cornell University Press, 2005) won the Gaddis Smith Book Prize. Click here to see a related interview. With Mounira Maya Charrad, she co-edited a 2015 Political Power and Social Theory volume titled Patrimonial Capitalism and Empire and a 2011 Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences volume titled Patrimonial Power in the Modern World. With Elisabeth S. Clemens and Ann Shola Orloff, Adams edited Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology (Duke University Press, 2005). Her work has twice won the Barrington Moore Jr. Award for Best Article given by the ASA section in Comparative and Historical Sociology.
Adams 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 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 has chaired the department of Sociology; directed the Division of the Social Sciences; the Fox International Fellowship Program, and the International Affairs Council at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. She also served as Deputy Provost for Social Sciences and Faculty Development and Diversity. Adams is currently Head of Grace Hopper College.
Adams/Brückner Wikipedia Research Project
- “Wikipedia and the Democratization of Academic Knowledge” is an (NSF) funded study of how academics and academic subjects are represented on Wikipedia. The ongoing work is directed by Professors Julia Adams of Yale University and Hannah Brückner of NYU Abu Dhabi. Read the statement.
- Adams, Julia (2016) Can crowdsourcing capture academic knowledge? The Wikipedia experiment, Parameters/SSRC, October 2016.
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 Charrad, M. Mounira (2015). Patrimonial Capitalism and Empire. (Book Series: Political Power and Social Theory). Emerald Publishing.
- 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. Direct Link.
- Adams, Julia (2005). The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Adams, Julia, Clemens, S. Elisabeth, Orloff, Ann (2005). Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Adams, Julia and Pincus, Steve (2017). “Imperial States in the Age of Discovery,” pp. 333-48 in The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control (eds. Kimberly J. Morgan and Ann Shola Orloff). New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Adams, Julia and Herzog, Ben (2017). “Women, Gender, and the Revocation of Citizenship in the United States,” Sage Journals, August 25, 2017.
- Adams, Julia and Brückner, Hannah (2015). “Wikipedia, sociology, and the promise and pitfalls of Big Data,” Big Data and Society, July-December 2015: 1-5.
- Adams, Julia and Shughrue, Chris (2015). “Bottlenecks and East Indies Companies: Modeling the Geography of Agency in Mercantilist Enterprises,” in Emily Erikson (ed.) Chartering Capitalism: Organizing Markets, States, and Publics (Political Power and Social Theory, Volume 29) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 207 - 218.
- Adams, Julia and Steinmetz, George (2015). “Sovereignty and Sociology: From State Theory to Theories of Empire”. (Book Series: Political Power and Social Theory). Emerald Publishing.
- Adams, Julia and Wang, Liping Liping, “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.
- Adams, Julia (2011). “1-800-How-Am-I-Driving? Agency in Social Science History,” Social Science History, vol. 35 #1, pp. 1-17
- Adams, Julia and Reed, Ariail Issac (2011). “Culture in the Transitions to Modernity: Seven Pillars of a New Research Agenda,” Theory & Society, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 247-272.
- Adams, Julia and Weakliem, David (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 Orloff, Ann Ann (2005). “Defending Modernity? High Politics, Feminist Anti-Modernism and the Place of Gender,” in Politics and Gender, 1 (1).
- 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 and Tasleem, Padamsee (2001). “Signs and Regimes: Rereading Feminist Work on Welfare States,” Social Politics, 8 (1): 1-23.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adams, Julia and McLanahan, Sara (1987) “Parenthood and Psychological Wellbeing,” Annual Review of Sociology 13, eds. R. Turner and J. Short. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews: 237-57
- Politics, History and Culture Series (published by Duke University Press): Julia Adams and George Steinmetz, co-editors.
Courses and Seminars
- SOCY018, The Sociological Imagination (Freshman Seminar)
- SOCY115, Contemporary American Society
- SOCY160, Methods of Inquiry
- SOCY210, Sociology of the Welfare State
- SOCY542, Sociological Theory
- SOCY557, Political Sociology
- SOCY520/HIST972, Revolutions
- SOCY560/PLSC734, Comparative Research Workshop
- SOCY590b/HIST610b, Early Modern Empires: Theory and History.
- SOCY612, Agency and Action.
- Center for the Study of Inequality at ISPS
- European Studies Council, Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale
- Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
- Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Yale CHESS (Center for Historical Enquiry & the Social Sciences)
National & International
- American Sociological Association (ASA):
- Council for European Studies at Columbia University
- 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