James J. Sheehan

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James J. Sheehan, MA, PhD

  • Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus
  • Professor of History, Emeritus
  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, by courtesy
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center
Building 200, Room 209 Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2024
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James Sheehan is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities at Stanford, a professor of history, and an FSI senior fellow by courtesy. He is an expert on the history of modern Europe. He has written widely on the history of Germany, including four books and many articles. His most recent book on Germany is Museums in the German Art World: From the End of the Old Regime to the Rise of Modernism (Oxford Press, 2000). He has recently written a new book about war and the European state in the 20th century, Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? addressing the transformation of Europe's states from military to cilivian actors, interested primarily in economic growth, prosperity, and security. His other recent publications are chapters on "Democracy" and "Political History," which appear in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2002), and a chapter on "Germany," which appears in The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Sheehan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has many won many grants and awards, including the Officer's Cross of the German Order of Merit. In 2004 he was elected president of the American Historical Association. He received a BA from Stanford (1958) and an MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley (1959, 1964).

In The News


The fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years later

November 9, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The historic event symbolizes the end of the Cold War, and for the Germans living there, 1989 marks a turning point that continues to shape their culture. Amir Eshel, professor of comparative literature and director of FSI's Forum on Contemporary Europe and history professor James Sheehan reflect on the legacy of this important anniversary.

Gerhard Casper and James Sheehan awarded Germany's Great Cross of the Order of Merit with Star

Stanford President Emeritus Gerhard Casper, the Peter and Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education, professor of law, and FSI senior fellow, and James Sheehan, Dickason Professor in the Humanities and professor of history (emeritus), have been awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Merit with Star, among the highest tributes paid to individuals for service to the Federal Republic of Germany. German President Horst Köhler personally bestowed the award in a ceremony in Berlin in early June.