George Steinmetz

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Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor,
Professor of German,
Professor of Sociology

University of Michigan
German Department
3212 MLB
812 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI

Phone: 734.647.3900
Fax: 734.763.6557
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Chinese Studies Center
  • Fields of Study
    • Social Theory
    • Imperialism and Colonialism
    • Analysis of the State and Culture
    • History of Social Science
    • Sociology of Intellectuals
  • About

    Professor Steinmetz is the Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Germanic Language and Literatures at the University of Michigan and a Corresponding Member of the Centre de Sociologie européenne, Paris. He is a social theorist and a historical sociologist of states, empires, and social science. He is currently working on two main projects. The first is a reconstruction of sociology as historical socioanalysis. The second is a project on the historical sociology of sociology in Europe, North America, and postcolonial Africa. Here he looks at sociologists who have analyzed, criticized, and advised colonial and informal empires during the past 150 years. He has also worked on Germany and several of its former colonies (Namibia, Samoa, and Qingdao, China), on social policy at the local and central levels in imperial Germany, on visual sociology, and on the rise and fall of the city of Detroit.

    Click on this link to see a video of Prof. Steinmetz' lecture at the German Sociological Association meetings in 2010:

    Selected Publications

    • The Devil's Handwriting: Precoloniality and the German Colonial State in Qingdao, Samoa, and Southwest Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
    • The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences: Positivism and its Epistemological Others, edited by George Steinmetz. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
    • "The Colonial State as a Social Field." American Sociological Review 73(4) (August 2008), pp. 589–612.
    • "La sociologie historique en Allemagne et aux Etats-Unis : un transfert manqué (1930-1970)." Genèses, number 71 (June 2008), pp. 123-147.
    • "Harrowed Landscapes: White Ruingazers in Namibia and Detroit and the Cultivation of Memory." Visual Studies, vol. 23, no. 3 (2008), pp. 211-237.

    View complete listing of publications [PDF]

  • Education
    • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1987
  • Awards
    • Co-Editor of the book series "Politics, History, and Culture" at the Duke University Press
  • Selected Publications:
  • Books
  • Articles
  • Book Chapters