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Emily J. Levine

Dr. Emily J. Levine

Contact Information

Email: ejlevine@uncg.edu
Office: MHRA 2117
Office Phone: 336-334-3514


Ph.D., Stanford University, 2008
M.A., Stanford University, 2005
B.A., Yale University, 2001

Academic Positions

On research leave at the National Humanities Center, 2017-2018
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2016-present
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2010-2016
Instructor, Yale University, 2008-2010
Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, 2003-2005

Research Interests

My research places ideas, scholarly practices, and institutions into the social, cultural, and political contexts of cities in nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe and America. I focus on the "conditions of possibility" of intellectual production, including the settings, contexts, and institutions that enable and authenticate ideas as well as questions of scholarly and institutional transfer (what the Germans call Wissenstransfer) between different national, political, and cultural contexts.

My first book Dreamland of Humanists (Chicago, 2013; paperback forthcoming, 2015) analyzes the intellectual collaboration of Aby Warburg, Ernst Cassirer, and Erwin Panofsky in the city of Hamburg between the wars. The book argues that this group's unconventional scholarship in art history and philosophy directly arose from the familial, religious, and economic conditions of the city in which they lived. Other articles that I’ve written reexamine the city, family, and Jewishness, respectively as sites for intellectual production, and the epistemological consequences of these lines of inquiry for history writing at large.

As an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Free University in Berlin in 2012-2013 I began a second book project titled "Exceptional Institutions: Cities, Capital, and the Rise of the Research University." With a focus on Germany and America, “Exceptional Institutions” narrates the history of the research university in the increasingly global world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Unlike recent global histories, my book argues that the research university arose together with the nineteenth-century city. Traveling between Berlin, Baltimore, New York, and Göttingen, and with forays to Beijing, Lyon, Dublin, and Madison, "Exceptional Institutions" examines an international group of scholarly reformers who raced to create the modern research university. As the first transatlantic history of the research university, "Exceptional Institutions" reveals how the transition to a global knowledge economy has earlier roots than previously assumed, while its focus on the local offers an alternative to the "international" turn in the field.

Current Projects

  • "Jews, Capital, and Ideas: From Private Scholar to Privately Funded Institute" (article in progress for submission).

Courses Taught

  • HIS 223: European Revolutions, 1789–1989: A survey of the political, social, and cultural history of Europe from the time of the French Revolution to the present with emphasis on the emergence of political ideologies and categories of inclusion and exclusion in the boundaries of Europe. Uses technology to enhance the teaching of historical skills and to facilitate peer learning
  • HIS 376: Germany in the World: Undergraduate lecture course examining the vicissitudes of Germany in the twentieth century in light of its changing relationship to the world. Introduction to a variety of historical methodologies, including cultural and comparative history, gender, and everyday life.
  • HIS 392: The Holocaust: History and Meaning: An upper-level survey on the origins and implementation of the Holocaust, and the challenge this event poses to the study of history. Topics include the long history of anti-Semitism in Germany, debates about Germany's aims, the motivations of perpetrators, and the difference between the Holocaust in the East and the West.
  • HIS 397: Modern European Thought: "The Power of Ideas." An upper-level undergraduate course devoted to key thinkers in 18th-20th century European cultural and intellectual history, including Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, De Beauvoir, and Arendt. Additional readings on varying approaches to the history of ideas.
  • HIS 511B: Historical Research and Writing: "'Democracy and Its Discontents': The Weimar Republic, 1919-1933." A speaking and writing intensive interdisciplinary seminar examining the relationship between culture and politics in Germany's interwar period.
  • HSS 222 (Honors): Flappers and Philosophers: Ideas, Culture, and Politics Between The Wars. An honors seminar devoted to the main historical events and intellectual movements of the 1920s and 30s in Europe and America. Emphasis on the interconnections between ideas and politics, the fluctuations between left and right politics, and transatlantic figures.
  • HIS 706: Modern European History Colloquium (graduate). Seminar for masters and Ph.D. students surveying the major historiographical trends, issues, and problems in modern European history from the French Revolution through World War II, postwar memory, the emergence of human rights and the "international" turn in the field.
  • HIS 740: Selected Topics in Modern European History: "Exiled in Paradise: German Intellectuals in America." A graduate reading seminar examining the impact of German émigrés on multiple fields in the humanities, fine arts, architecture, and film in postwar America.
  • HIS 740: Transatlantic Centuries: Culture, Politics, and Ideas between Germany and America (graduate). Seminar examining the transatlantic approach among both American and European historians to assess the German-American relationship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Case studies include the mutual adaptation of the research university in Germany and America, the transatlantic golden age in politics as typified by Kennedy, "cultural imperialism" after World War II, and student revolts of 1968.
  • For courses taught at other institutions see VITA

Recent Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 2017-2018
  • 2015 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize in European history from 1815 through the 20th century by the American Historical Association
  • UNCG Candace Bernard and Robert Glickman Dean’s Professor, 2015–16
  • Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Free University in Berlin, 2012-2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Freie Universität in Berlin.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, 2008-2010
  • For more awards and honors see VITA.

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