Curriculum Vitae

Jeffrey K. Olick


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.
View Chinese translation


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

Office Hours

Phone | Fax

(434) 924-3526 | (434) 924-7028



Undergraduate Level

  • SOC 1010 - Introductory Sociology
  • SOC 2470 (247) - American Society & Pop Culture
  • SOC 2500 - Sociology Through Cinema (JTerm)
  • SOC 3020 (302) - Intro to Social Theory
  • SOC 3559 - Deviance & Moral Order
  • SOC 406 - Contemporary Social Theory
  • SOC 415 - Time and Memory
  • SOC 4230 (423) - Deviance and Social Control
  • SOC 4150 (4559) - Ethics & Memory
  • SOC 4740 (4559) - Trauma, Atrocity, Responsibility
  • SOC 4850 (485) - Media Culture and Society

Graduate Level

  • SOC 5030 (503) - Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 5060 (506) - Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOC 5150 (515/801) - Time and Memory
  • SOC 5559 - Evil, Disaster, Suffering
  • SOC 7360 (736) - European Social Theory
  • SOC 8030/8040 - Seminar in Sociological Issues
  • SOC 8031 Sociology ProSeminar
  • SOC 8054 (854) - Political Sociology