Julia E. Liss

Professor of History
Mary W. Johnson And J. Stanley Johnson Professorship In Humanities

Department: History
Office Address: Humanities 214
Office Phone: (909) 607-3541
Personal Website:

Julia E. Liss will be on leave for the academic year.

Julia E. Liss

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


Professor Julia Liss has been a member of Scripps’ faculty since 1989. Her areas of academic expertise include U.S. cultural and intellectual history in the 19th and 20th centuries, Franz Boas, the history of anthropology, and the uses of history in wartime. Professor Liss has served as a member of the Appointment, Promotions, and Tenure Committee, and of the Faculty Executive Committee for three terms, including two terms as FEC chair. She has earned faculty recognition and achievement awards for teaching, research and, service to Scripps, and has been the recipient of numerous faculty research grants including the Irvine Faculty Development Grant. She received a prestigious Bernard and Audre Rapoport Fellowship in American Jewish Studies from the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in 2013 and was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Bologna, Italy in 2010.

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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