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Amy Kittelstrom


Professor Amy Kittelstrom
Amy Kittelstrom



Stevenson Hall 3706

Advising Area

  • General


Professor Kittelstrom is a historian of modern thought and culture with specialties in American democracy and religion, African-American literature, and global sport. While earning her B.A. at Rice University (1994), she spent a semester at the University of Melbourne in Australia, which introduced her to post-colonial studies. She earned her PhD in History at Boston University in 2004, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her dissertation was supported by a fellowship from the Center for Religion and American Life at Yale University, and the process of turning it into a book was supported by the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University and the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.

She served for three years as a lecturer in the History and Literature program at Harvard University and one semester at a Clemente College for low-income adults before coming to Sonoma State in 2007. She teaches American history from pre- Columbus to the present as well as upper-division courses in her areas of expertise. Her book, The Religion of Democracy: Seven Liberals and the American Moral Tradition, was published by Penguin in 2015. She has published essays and reviews in a variety of venues including Modern Intellectual History, the Journal of American History, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, and Black Perspectives. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled This Division in Our House: James Baldwin and the Myth of America.


Ph.D., Boston University


Modern U.S. History and Transnational Intellectual Culture

Selected Publications & Presentations

“James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and the Ever-Deferred Dream,” Black Perspectives Roundtable on Black Intellectuals and the Crisis of Democracy:

"The American Mind is Dead, Long Live the American Mind," Modern Intellectual History (18.3, Sept. 2021): 865-876.

"On Coaching," Center for Community Engagement, Sonoma State Univeristy, Dec. 18, 2019:

"Philosophy vs. Philosophers: A Problem in American Intellectual History," American Labyrinth: Intellectual History for Complicated Times ed. Raymond Haberski, Jr., and Andrew Hartman (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018), pp. 55-70.

“Prelude to a Modern Liberalism: Imagining the Universal Perspective in ‘On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings,” chapter in William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Moral Life, ed. Jacob Goodson(Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

“Reminiscences of Thomas Haskell (1939-2017),” U.S. Intellectual History Blog, July 20, 2017

“Burn with Pride,” contribution to “What Now?” forum in The Chronicle Review of the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 25, 2016, B5.

“What the Debate Over Gay Marriage Shows,” History News Network (April 16, 2015):

“The Academic-Motherhood Handicap.” Chronicle of Higher Education Feb. 12, 2010

“An International Social Gospel: Unity and Brotherhood at the World’s Parliament of Religions,Chicago, 1893.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 19.2 (Summer 2009): 243-74.