Jeffrey Olick

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and History and Department Chair

University of Virginia Sociology Department
Randall 202
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office Hours:

Jeffrey Olick is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Sociology Department Chair. 

He received a B.A. with High Honors from Swarthmore College (1986)  and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale (1993).

While he has published on a wide variety of topics, his interests to date have focused particularly on collective memory, critical theory, transitional justice, and postwar Germany. 

Current projects include on-going work on these topics, as well as editing a six-volume Cultural History of Memory and developing the outlines of “tragic sociology,” an approach with origins in Nietzsche’s writings on suffering and Weber’s sociological approach to theodicy. 

He works with students on collective memory, sociological theory, symbolic politics, and history and theory of ideas and meanings, among other topics. 

His work has been translated into Spanish, German, Polish, Turkish, Estonian, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


Selected Publications


Edited Books


"The Agonies of Defeat: 'Other Germanies' and the Problem of Collective Guilt"

"Times for Forgiveness: An Historical Perspective," in Considering Forgiveness, edited by Aleksandra Wagner with Carin Kuoni. New York: Vera List Center for Art and Politics, 2009.

"From Collective Memory to the Sociology of Mnemonic Practices and Products," in Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, edited by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nunning. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008.

“The Ciphered Transits of Collective Memory: Neo-Freudian Impressions.” Social Research 75, 1, Spring 2008: 1-22.

“Collective Memory: A Memoir and Prospect.” Memory Studies 1, 1, Winter 2008: 23-29.

"Collective Memory." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed.

"Holocaust." International Encyclopeida of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed.

"Political Sociology." International Enclyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed.

"Political Culture." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed.

"Popular Culture." Encyclopedia of Aesthetics.

"Collective Memory and Nonpublic Opinion: An Historical Note on Methodological Controversy about a Political Problem." Symbolic Interaction, February 2007.

"The Guilt of Nations?" Ethics and International Affairs, Fall 2003: 109-117.

"Social Memory Studies: From 'Collective Memory' to the Historical Sociology of Mnemonic Practices," (with Joyce Robbins). Annual Review of Sociology 24, 1998: 105-140.
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