Andreas Glaeser                                          

© Andreas Glaeser, 2009-2010

Teaching is a great pleasure for me. I also believe that it makes a real difference for my research, because it forces me not only to constantly read new literature, while also paying attention to the classics, but also because it force me to explain myself. Coming from the trenches of research, teaching affords a wonderfully airy perspective onto what is going on on the ground.


My Students:


Over the years I have had the great fortune and pleasure to work with many extraordinary students here at the University of Chicago. To the degree that I am aware of them I have added links to their websites HERE.


Aims of Education:


In 2005 I had the good fortune to be invited to deliver the Aims of Education Address for incoming undergraduate students. This gave me an opportunity to think about why it might make sense to engage in a classical liberal education. It’s title is “How About Becoming a Poet?” If you are interested in reading it you can download it HERE. This speech has led me to think about different types of classes. One these I will finally teach in Spring 2011.




I am currently busy collecting material and suitable readings for an experimental class I will teach in 2010/11. Its title is “Symbolizing the Social: Ethnography, Photography, Literature”. The aim of the class is to create an awareness among students what it means to engage in a particular type of practice to investigate the world. Each method of inquiry offers its own potential for insight while closing others off. This course will be structured about a common theme, “poverty”, say or “power” and we will set out to explore it practically over two quarters by writing ethnography and fiction and by shooting a photo essay.


Classes and Syllabi:


I mostly teach social theory classes both for graduates and undergraduates. Here are some of the classes I have taught. By clicking on the “HERE” behind the title you can download sample syllabi:


Hermeneutic Sociology: Theory and Method HERE

Imagining the Social: Ontological Presuppositions of Social Science HERE

History of Social Theory HERE

Paradigms of Cultural Analysis HERE

Classical Theories of Culture HERE

Culture and Identity HERE

Culture and Emotions HERE

Sociology of Knowledge HERE

Karl Mannheim and the Sociology of Knowledge HERE

Political Epistemologies HERE

Self, Culture and Society III HERE

Classics in Social and Political Thought II HERE


PhD Program:


What is important to remember when you choose graduate schools is that they do indeed vary significantly in culture. One of the most simple analytic devices social scientists like to toy with is the cross tabulation of two binary distinctions yielding a 2X2 matrix. Let’s be really smart adding a third binary distinction turning the 4 field matrix into an 8 box cube. In this spirit sociology departments in the US may be divided into generalists (those aiming to cover a wide range of sociological methods, theoretical approaches, and substantive interests) and specialists (concentrating their faculty strength); they can also be divided into departments which practice a loose leash model of graduate education (letting students run with their ideas, even at the cost of letting them bark at the wrong tree for a while), and those favoring an apprenticeship model (in which a student enters the shop of a master sociologist to learn her craft); and finally one may distinguish small departments (with faculty in the teens) from large departments (with up to 50 faculty). Chicago occupies a spot in the generalist/loose leash/small cube. Chicago is also a department that does not cultivate the fiction that sociology ought to be a universe upon itself. Instead, interdisciplinarity is encouraged here, making good of the fact that sociology is sandwiched right between all the other social sciences. This is supported by the department’s structure: as a generalist department, most faculty members find their closest collaborators beyond the department’s boundaries. And students can follow suit. I serve only on a few dissertation committees which are sociology only.