James Nolan

Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology
Hollander Hall Rm 344


B.A. University of California, Davis (1984)
M.A. University of Virginia (1992)
Ph.D. University of Virginia, Sociology (1995)

Areas of Expertise


Professor Nolan’s teaching and research interests fall within the general areas of law and society, culture, technology and social change, and historical comparative sociology. His new book, What They Saw in America: Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, G.K. Chesterton, and Sayyid Qutb, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2016. His current research project, Delivering Little Boy, is a unique look at the Manhattan Project and the early years of the nuclear age. His previous books include Legal Accents, Legal Borrowing: The International Problem-Solving Court Movement (2009); Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement (2001); and The Therapeutic State: Justifying Government at Century’s End (1998). He is the recipient of several grants and awards including National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships and a Fulbright scholarship. He has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Loughborough University, and the University of Notre Dame.



Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

SOC 218(F)

Law and Modern Society

HIST 366 / AMST 244 / SOC 244(S)

What They Saw in America

SOC 368 / ENVI 368(F)

Technology and Modern Society

SOC 386 / HIST 387(S)

Living with the Bomb: American Culture in the Nuclear Age

Scholarship/Creative Work

Current Committees

  • College and Community Advisory Committee
  • Justice and Law Studies