Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences (2018–20)
PhD'18 (US history) University of Chicago


Research Interests

United States history; intellectual history, political history and the history of political thought; war and society; the Civil War and Reconstruction


The Paradox of Union: The Civil War and the Transformation of American Democracy


Adam Rowe is a historian of the United States with a particular interest in national political culture from the Revolution to the late nineteenth century. His dissertation, “The Paradox of Union: The Civil War and the Transformation of American Democracy,” considers how Republican leaders and intellectuals gradually embraced a new theory of their political system as they scrambled to save it during the Civil War. At a broader thematic level, Adam’s research has focused on the interface between intellectual and political history, tracing the unique combination of traditions, institutions, and beliefs, rooted in the colonial and European past, that ruptured abruptly in the crisis that ushered in the modern United States.

Adam’s second ongoing project is a biography. "Prodigal: The Short, Shining Life of Sam Fessenden" uses the richly documented childhood and adolescence of a soldier who died in the Civil War to connect the experience of the war with the social history of the antebellum era, particularly the emergence of middle-class conceptions of childhood, masculinity, and family.

When he isn’t reading and writing history, Adam is usually apologizing to his wife and two young children for spending too much time reading and writing history.


—Writes book review for Quillette oPlagues and Peoples by William McNeill, Mar. 23, 2020
Dissertation Awards for 35 students in 2016–17
Discusses his dissertation research, Dialogo (blog)

Teaching Fellows in the Social Science is a competitive two-year program designed to enhance the pedagogical skills and extend research training for recent graduates of PhD programs in the social sciences at the University of Chicago. Teaching fellows demonstrate excellence in their original scholarship and teaching and are selected by a faculty committee.

2018–19 Teaching

HIST 13500 America in World Civilization 1 (Aut 18)
HIST 28103 The American Novel in History and the Historical Novel (Win 19)
HIST 28204 The Civil War and the Transformation of American Democracy (Win 19)
HIST 28205 Revolutions and Reactions: The United States in the Nineteenth Century (Spr 19)