Professor and Chair
Director, Chicago Field Studies
PhD, University of Minnesota
James Farr teaches political theory and the history of political thought with special emphasis on early modern and American political thought, democratic theory and citizen education, and the history and philosophy of social science. He conducts research in these areas, as well, having published sixty or so articles or chapters on Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Marx, Lieber, Dewey, Lasswell and Popper, as well as on conceptual change, situational analysis, hermeneutics, and social capital. He is currently completing a series of essays on John Locke and the new world, with emphasis on slavery and ethnography. He is also completing a series of essays on the history of American political science, understood as both discipline and discourse, emphasizing the centrality of debates over method, civic education, and the state. This latter series complements three of four edited books, Political Innovation and Political Change (Cambridge), Discipline and History (Michigan), and Political Science in History (Cambridge).
Having taught previously at Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, Farr joined the department in 2007. Currently Chair of the Department, Farr is also the Director of the Chicago Field Studies at Northwestern, an internship-and-seminar experience for undergraduates investigating the modern workplace and civic engagement.