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GSE Colloquium Series: Professor Emily Levine

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Higher Education and Academic Innovation in Transatlantic Perspective—A Theory of Institutional Change

Picture of the speaker

Emily J. Levine is Associate Professor of Modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Newly aware of the economic value of research, early 20th century philanthropists and governments on both sides of the Atlantic poured unprecedented amounts of money into academic organizations. However, in the emerging competition between Germany and America for global research hegemony, leaders made divergent choices about where advanced research should occur and how it should be governed. With the founding of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (later Max Plank Institutes) in 1910, Germany moved much scientific research outside the university, whereas the contemporaneous founding of the Carnegie institutions in the US supported research within it. Drawing on archival research and using a transatlantic lens that combines historical and sociological methodologies, Levine illuminates the dual cooperative and competitive process of higher education innovation. In particular, she discusses the impact of these parallel and perpendicular choices on the organization of education and research at the turn of the last century and the resonance of those choices today. 

Emily J. Levine is Associate Professor of Modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Levine received her Ph.D. in History and the Humanities at Stanford and her B.A. from Yale (where she later returned as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow). She is the author of Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press, 2013), which was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize by the American Historical Association for the best book in European history from 1815 through the 20thcentury. Levine has published in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, Foreign Policy, The Chronicle of Higher Education, andInside Higher Ed, as well as in top scholarly journals.She recently completed Academic Innovators: The Transformation of Higher Education in Germany and America, which was supported by fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and will be published by the University of Chicago Press.

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