University Professor, New York University
President, Social Science Research Council
Director, Institute for Public Knowledge
After receiving his doctorate from Oxford University, Calhoun taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1977 to 1996. He was Dean of the Graduate School and the founding Director of the University Center for International Studies. He has also taught at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and the Universities of Asmara, Khartoum, Oslo, and Oxford.
Calhoun’s own empirical research has ranged from Britain and France to China and three different African countries. His study of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 resulted in the prize-winning book, Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China (California, 1994). Among his other works are Nationalism (Minnesota, 1997), Critical Social Theory: Culture, History, and the Challenge of Difference (Blackwell, 1995), and several edited collections including Habermas and the Public Sphere (MIT, 1992), Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Politics (Minnesota, 1997), Understanding September 11 (New Press, 2002), and Lessons of Empire (New Press, 2005). He was also editor in chief of the Oxford Dictionary of the Social Sciences. In more than ninety articles, he has also addressed the impact of technological change; the organization of community life; the relationship among tort law, risk, and business organizations; the anthropological study of education, kinship, and religion; and problems in contemporary globalization. Calhoun’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.