University Historian

Get to know James Capshew

In addition to his position as University Historian, James H. Capshew serves on the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine.

In addition to Herman B Wells: The Promise of the American University, he is author of Psychologists on the March: Science, Practice, and Professional Identity in America, 1929–1969 as well as numerous scholarly articles.

The Society for Advanced Study at IU selected him for the 2010 Herman B Wells Distinguished Lecture. He has served as editor of the international journal History of Psychology and as editor for psychology of the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania (1986)
  • M.A. University of Pennsylvania (1982)
  • B.A. Indiana University (1979)

My role is to catalyze the exploration, interpretation, and conservation of the history and heritage of Indiana University. I support Bicentennial efforts to enhance historical understanding and reflection among the IU community and beyond.

James Capshew, University Historian

Publication highlights

  • The Legacy of the Laboratory: Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, 1888–2013 (PBS, 2014).
  • “History of Psychology Since 1945: A North American Review,” in A Historiography of the Modern Social Sciences, edited by R.E. Backhouse & P. Fontaine (Cambridge, 2014), 144–182.
  • Herman B Wells: The Promise of the American University (Indiana, 2012)
  • “Kinsey’s Biographers: A Historiographical Reconnaissance.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 12 (2003): 465–486. [With M.H. Adamson, P.A. Buchanan, N. Murray, N. Wake]
  • Philip C. Bantin & James H. Capshew, eds., The Wells Archive: Exploring the World of Higher Education (IU Libraries, 2000).

Learn about the council supporting the University Historian

Visit the Council of University Historians