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James Sparrow

James Sparrow

James Sparrow is Associate Professor of History, the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the College.

Professor Sparrow is an historian of modern US politics broadly construed, with special interests in the mutual constitution of social categories, democratic publics, and state formation.

His first book, Warfare State, is a history of the social politics of the national state as its foundations shifted from welfare to warfare during World War II. He is completing a sequel to Warfare State tentatively titled Sovereign Discipline: The American Extraterritorial State in the Atomic Age. This book examines the mass politics of extraterritorial sovereignty, and the crisis of legitimacy it engendered, from V-E Day to the Cuban Missile Crisis. His third book project is an intellectual history titled New Leviathan: Rethinking Sovereignty and Political Agency after Total War.

He was awarded the 2023 Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Teaching at the University of Chicago.