Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990
Modern American society, culture, thought; cultural criticism; intellectual history; history of ideas; self, emotion, art of living, ancient and modern; therapeutic culture, civil society, community, race, family; contemplative learning
has a new book out in fall 2020, Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the
Ancient Arts of Living (University of Notre Dame Press, October 2020).
Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn focuses on ideas and their intricacy, inner-workings, and importance in the lives of individuals and society, past and present. In addition to modern and contemporary American social, cultural, and intellectual history, she has broader temporal,
geographical, and interdisciplinary interests extending back to antiquity, especially philosophy, comparative literature, cultural and media criticism, languages, and classical reception. Her teaching and research integrate specialist and generalist
sensibilities and she is in close conversation with scholars in many fields. Lasch-Quinn’s new book, Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient
Arts of Living, explores ideas in ancient Greco-Roman philosophy and modern American culture about how to live. Her earlier books include Black
Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the American Settlement House
Movement, 1890-1945 (University of North Carolina; winner of the Berkshire prize), and Race Experts: How Sensitivity Training,
Interracial Etiquette, and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights
Revolution (W. W. Norton; reviewed in the NY Times, London
Times, etc.). She has edited books on the contemporary historical profession (Routledge) as well as women and the common life (W. W. Norton). Her writing appears widely in both scholarly and prominent public venues such as
The New Republic and The Hedgehog Review and includes numerous essays, articles, op eds, and book reviews on a range of subjects from race and community to civil society, therapeutic culture, democratic citizenship, self, emotion, moral
imagination, children, popular culture, love, and the life of the mind. A Fulbright fellow, she has received many research grants and fellowships, including from Yale University’s Whitney Humanities Center, the PEW and Templeton foundations, the Woodrow
Wilson International Center for Scholars, and UVA’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, and taught graduate seminars at Yale and the University of Rome, Italy. She has taught and advised many PhD students at Syracuse, where she served as Director
of Graduate Studies in History. Throughout the U.S. and in London, Rome, and Naples, she has delivered many presentations and invited lectures, including commencement and conference keynote addresses. Devoted to her students and colleagues at Syracuse
University and in the profession, she has received awards for her undergraduate and graduate teaching and advising as well as her research and service. Professor of History and Senior Research Associate in the Campbell Public Affairs institute, Lasch-Quinn
is an acknowledged contributor to scholarly and public discourse nationally and internationally. She has been sought out as consultant in a variety of settings, from tv and radio talk show, documentary, college president, and museum, to Office of
the Prime Minister (UK).
Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the
Ancient Arts of Living (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020).
Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training,
and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution (W. W. Norton and Co., 2001; Rowman & Littlefield, 2002,
Black Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the
American Settlement House Movement, 1890-1945 (University of North Carolina Press, 1993).
Annual Book Award Winner, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.
Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith
after Freud, edited edition of
classic 1966 work by sociologist Philip Rieff (Wilmington: ISI, 2006).
Reconstructing History: The Emergence of a New
Historical Society, edited with
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, essays on the study of history and the historical
profession (Routledge, 1999).
Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage, and
Feminism, edited essays by
historian Christopher Lasch (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997).
Co-authored with Matthew D. Stewart, “Beyond
Critique: Philip Rieff’s Positive Vision,” Jonathan Imber, ed., The
Anthem Companion to Philip Rieff (London, UK, 2018).
“The New Old Ways of Self-Help” in The
Hedgehog Review 19, 1 (Spring 2017), 70-80.
“Individual Liberty and Civic Practices” in
Donald W. Harward, ed. (Director, Bringing Theory to Practice Project), Civic
Values and Civic Practices, 2013, 73-81.
“Inarticulate by Choice: The Decline of Letter
Writing and the Future of the Intellectual Past,” essay series in seven parts
(July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 21, August 26, September 16,
2012), Society for United States Intellectual History Blog.
“From Rome with Love,” essay series in six
parts (May 6, May 13, May 21, June 3, June 17, June 25, 2012), Society for
United States Intellectual History Blog. Reflections as Fulbright Fellow,
republished on U.S.-Italy Fulbright website.
“From Inwardness to Intravidualism,” Hedgehog
Review (Spring 2011), 43-51.
“Contemporary Social Thought,” in Martin
Halliwell and Catherine Morley, eds., American Thought and Culture in
the Twenty-first Century (NY: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2009).
“Introduction” to Philip Rieff, Triumph
of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud (Wilmington, Delaware:
ISI Publishing, 2007); new critical edition, vii-xxvi.
“A Stranger’s Dream: The Contemporary
Socialization Crisis and the Rise of the Virtual Self,” in Wilfred M. McClay,
ed., Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American
Past (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 232-262.
“Bringing Up Baby,” Wilson
Quarterly (Spring 2003), 109-112. Review essay on the history of
Some Notable Citations
Kenan Malik, “Enough of the Psychobabble,” Guardian (July
John McWhorter, “The Virtue Signalers Won’t
Change the World,” Atlantic (December 23, 2018).
Molly Worthen, “Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like’,” New York
Times (Sunday Review), May 1, 2016, p. SR4; also cited on numerous
David Brooks, “The Society of Surfaces,” New York
Times (Opinion Pages), April 29, 2011.
Kershaw, S. “Talk about Race? Relax,
It’s O.K.” New
York Times (Fashion and Style), January 15, 2009, p. E1.
Geske, A. “Land of the Lost Parents,” Utne Reader,
Nov.-Dec. 2003, 74-75.
Non-Residential Visiting Faculty Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in
Culture Foundation: In Media Res, University of Virginia
Pellicone Faculty Scholar, Dept. of History, Syracuse University
Affiliated Faculty Member, Honor’s Program, Syracuse University
Full Professor (with tenure), Department of History, Maxwell School of
Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute
Research Fellow, Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs Program, The
Historical Society & John Templeton Foundation
Fulbright Fellow and Senior Lecturer, Department of American Studies,
University of Rome III (Dipartimento di Studi Euro-Americani, Università di
Roma Tre), Rome, Italy
Research Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington,
Associate Professor, Department of History, Syracuse University
Research Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Whitney Humanities Center and
Program in American Studies, Yale University
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Syracuse University
Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, modern
culture and thought, American and European intellectual history, the arts,
Platonism and Neoplatonism.
Campbell Public Affairs Institute