Julia E. Liss

Julia E. Liss

Professor of History
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Department: History

Office Address: Humanities 214

Office Phone: (909) 607-2822

Office Hours: By appointment: contact Kathy Castro

Email: julia.liss@scrippscollege.edu

Personal Website: Click here

Academic History

  • B.A. Wesleyan University
  • M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Expertise

Professional Interests:

  • U.S. cultural and intellectual history in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Franz Boas
  • History of Anthropology
  • The Uses of History in wartime

Personal Interests

  • U.S. cultural and intellectual history in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Franz Boas
  • History of Anthropology

Selected Research and Publications

  • “Franz Boas on War and Empire: The Making of a Public Intellectual,” in Regna Darnell, ed. Franz Boas: Ethnographer, Theorist, Activist, Public Intellectual (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press), forthcoming.
  • "Biography, Art, Culture," in Reviews in American History (March 2011).
  • "Anthropology and Ethnology," Dictionary of American History, 3rd Edition, vol. I, ed. Stanley I. Kutler (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003)
  • "Anthropology and Cultural Relativism,"" Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual
    History, vol. II, ed. Mary Kupiec Clayton and Peter W. Williams (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001)
  • "Diasporic Identities: The Science and Politics of Race in the Work of Franz Boas and W.E.B. Du Bois, 1894-1919" Cultural Anthropology 13 (May 1998):1-40
    "German Culture and German Science in the Bildung of Franz Boas," in "Volksgeist" as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Anthropology and the German Anthropological Tradition, History of Anthropology, vol. 8, ed. George W. Stocking, Jr. (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1996)
  • "Patterns of Strangeness: Franz Boas, Modernism and the Origins of Anthropology," in Prehistories of the Future: The Primitivist Project and the Culture of  Modernism, ed. Elazar Barkan and Ronald Bush (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995)

Awards and Honors

  • Mary Wig Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards in Service, Teaching and Research
  • Fulbright Senior Lecturer, University of Bologna, 2010


Julia E. Liss has taught at Scripps College since 1989. She is Professor of History and earned her B.A. in History at Wesleyan University and Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Most of her work, like her education, has stressed the interdisciplinary nature of intellectual inquiry. Her research focuses on the history of anthropology, particularly on Franz Boas, and the uses of history in wartime. She teaches U.S. cultural and intellectual history, including courses on women's history and on war and society. She has received Mary Wig Johnson Faculty Achievement awards in teaching, research, and service and has served as chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, Director of the Humanities Institute, and Chair of the Intercollegiate Program in American Studies. In spring 2010 she was Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Bologna. In 2014 she was Bernard and Audre Rapoport Fellow, American Jewish Archives, Jacob Rader Marcus Center, Hebrew Union College.

Courses Taught

  • Core I: Histories of the Present
  • CORE III: History and Memory
  • US History since 1865
  • Women in the U.S.
  • The American 1960s
  • Political and Cultural Criticism
  • War, Empire and Society in the US, 1898-Present
  • Fords, Flappers, and Fundamentalists: The US in the 1920s
  • History Proseminar: What is History?
  • History Senior Thesis Seminar

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