Introducing: Adam Rowe, Assistant Professor, History

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- by Adam Rowe

I am excited to join the faculty at the New College of Florida as an assistant professor of history in the fall of 2024. My scholarly and teaching interest focus primarily on the intellectual and political history of the United States, from the colonial era through the nineteenth century. But I have experience teaching all eras of American history, along with transnational subjects like Western Civilization and the origins of ideas concerning republican liberty. My book manuscript, “The Rebirth of the Republic: Civil War Senators and the Transformation of American Democracy,” describes how Republican leaders established a new theory of their political system as they scrambled to save it during the Civil War. I earned my Ph.D. and J.D. from the University of Chicago, where I also served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, I have published reviews and essays in various national journals, including the Wall Street Journal, Claremont Review of Books and The American Conservative.

The unifying theme of my scholarly work is a focus on the interaction between the abstract ideals and practical pressures that define the political landscape in any given era. Intellectual historians tend to emphasize the significance of ideas, while materialists focus on the clash of competing interests and factions. But it is the interplay between these forces that I find most fascinating – how the ideas that organize an era’s political battles are refashioned in the process.

The best teachers, in my experience, tend to be ecumenical in their interest, able and eager to engage with historical inquiries outside their own specialties. I have tried to emulate their example, combining specialized research with reading that broadens my understanding of history in all its variations. My professional background only too-well reflects the wide variety of my interests. In addition to purely academic pursuits, I have worked as a lawyer, a judicial clerk, a newspaper reporter, a financial analyst, and a youth-sports referee. My wife and I also served for five years as resident heads at the University of Chicago, where we mentored an undergraduate housing community of about 100 students.  

It is a great privilege to earn a living by engaging with important ideas and teaching others to do the same. And it is an honor to join the wonderful community of scholars and students at New College.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the New College Trustees, faculty or staff. New College of Florida promotes a climate of free expression and tolerant civil discourse according to the principles set forth in the State University System Free Expression Statement and the Board of Governors Civil Discourse Final Report.