Liah Greenfeld

Liah Greenfeld

Liah Greenfeld

Professor of Sociology, Political Science and Anthropology

Ph.D., Hebrew University

617-358-1772 |

Curriculum Vitae


Liah Greenfeld has been widely published on questions of art, economics, history, language and literature, philosophy, politics, religion, and science, and has studied the cultures of England/Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Russia/Soviet Union, Israel, and the USA. Upon the publication of Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Harvard University Press, 1992), she has emerged as a preeminent authority on nationalism, a distinction reinforced by the publication of The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth (Harvard University Press, 2001; Donald Kagan Best Book in European History Prize). The third volume in her trilogy on the political, economic, and psychological aspects of modern culture is Mind, Modernity, Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Professor Greenfeld is Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, where she usually spends a month each year. Previously, she held the positions of Assistant as well as John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University between 1985 and 1994, and in 1994 joined Boston University as a University Professor and Professor of Political Science and Sociology. She has also held visiting positions at RPI, MIT, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and has been a recipient of the UAB Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Award, fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C., the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, and grants from Mellon, Olin, Earhart, The National Council for Soviet & East European Research, and The German Marshall Fund of the United States. In 2004, she delivered the Gellner lecture at the London School of Economics and in 2011, the Tom Nairn Lecture at the Globalism Research Center, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia.

Other books by Professor Greenfeld include The Ideals of Joseph Ben-David: The Scientist’s Role and Centers of Learning Revisited (ed.) (Transaction Publishers, 2012); Nationalism and the Mind: Essays on Modern Culture (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006); Different Worlds: A Study in the Sociology of Taste, Choice, and Success in Art (Cambridge University Press, 1989); and Center: Ideas and Institutions (ed.) (University of Chicago Press, 1988).  Greenfeld’s works have been translated into 10 languages and have attracted a steady stream of visiting scholars from all corners of the globe.

In another life–before she moved with her parents from Russia to Israel in 1972–she tried her hand at being, first, a child-prodigy, playing violin on TV at the age of 7, and then a poet, receiving the Krasnodar Region’s Second Prize for it (and a bust of Pushkin) at 16 and publishing a collection of poems, under a properly Russified alias in Komsomol’skaya Pravda.


Select Recent Publications

2012    “E pluribus unum: L’emergence d’un mal-etre moderne et des mots pour le dire,” in P. Goetschel, C. Granger, N. Richard & S. Venayre (eds.), L’Ennui: Histoire d’un état d’âme (XIXe-XXe siècle), Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne.

2011    “Globalization of Nationalism and the Future of the Nation-State,” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Winter.

“On Raymond Aron, Passion, Identity, and Intricate Ways of Intellectual Filiation,” Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 11:2, pp. 123-138.

“Nationalism,” Encyclopedia of Globalization, vol. III, pp. 1498-1502.

2010    “The Formation of Ethnic and National Identities” (with Nicholas Prevelakis), The International Studies Encyclopedia, 4: 2516-2531, Wiley-Blackwell.

2009    “Politics as a Cultural Phenomenon” (with Eric Malczewski), in J. Craig Jenkins & Kevin T. Leicht, eds., The Handbook of Politics: State and Society in Global Perspective, Springer, pp. 407-422.

2008    “Capitalism,” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Oxford University Press, pp. 24-29.

“National Identity,” (with Jonathan Eastwood), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Oxford University Press, chapter 11, pp. 256 – 274.

2007    “’Main Currents’ and Sociological Thought,” in Brian-Paul Frost and Daniel J. Mahoney (eds.), Political Reason in the Age of Ideology: Essays in Honor of Raymond Aron, New Brunswick: Transaction.

“Nazionalism i razum,” (Nationalism and the Mind), in V. Tishkov and V. Shnirelman, Russian Academy of Sciences (eds.), Nazionalism v mirovoi istorii, Moscow: Nauka, pp. 105-122.

2006    “Modernity and Nationalism,” G. Delanty and K. Kumar (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Nations and Nationalism, Oxford University Press.

“Nationalism and Modern Economy: Communing with the Spirit of Max Weber,” Max Weber Studies, Vol. 5.2/6.1, pp. 317-343.

2005    “Nationalism and Economic Growth,” Milan Zafirowsky (ed.), International                                    Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, Routledge.

“When the Sky is the Limit: Busyness in Contemporary American Society,” Social Research, Vol. 72:2 (Summer), pp. 1-24.