Richard Fox

Professor Emeritus of History
Email Office SOS 283 Office Phone (213) 821-0991


  • M.A. History, Stanford University, 1/1975
  • Ph.D. History, Stanford University, 1/1975
  • B.A. History and Religious Studies, Stanford University, 1/1966
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor of History, University of Southern California, 1999 –
    • Professor of History, Boston University, 1997 – 1999
    • Professor of History and Director of American Studies Program, Boston University, 1990 – 1997
    • Cornelia Marvin Pierce Professor of American Institutions and Humanities, Reed College, 1988 – 1990
    • Associate Professor of History and Humanities, Reed College, 1981 – 1988
    • Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University, 1975 – 1981
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Fox studies how ideas, beliefs, and cultural practices develop in relation to social structures and individual quests for meaning. He is especially intrigued by the curious intermingling of religiosity and secularity in the United States. This borderline of piety and worldliness is a very fruitful area for further historical research.

    Research Keywords

    American cultural history, American intellectual history, nineteenth-century United States History

  • Book

    • Fox, R. W. (2015). Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
    • Fox, R. W. (2004). Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession (Harper Collins/Harper One, 2004). San Francisco: Harper Collins/Harper One.
    • Fox, R. W. (1999). Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-Tilton Scandal (University of Chicago Press, 1999). University of Chicago Press.
    • Fox, Richard Wightman (Ed.). (1997). In Face of the Facts: Moral Inquiry in American Scholarship (Cambridge University Press, 1998) [co-editor with Robert Westbrook].
    • Fox, Richard Wightman (Ed.). (1995). A Companion to American Thought (Blackwell Publishers, 1995) [co-editor with James Kloppenberg and author of numerous entries]. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
    • Fox, R. W. (1993). The Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History (University of Chicago Press, 1993) [co-editor with Jackson Lears and author of essay entitled “Intimacy on Trial: Cultural Meanings of the Beecher-Tilton Affair”.
    • Fox, R. W. (1985). Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography (1985; Cornell University Press, 1996). Pantheon Books (1985); Cornell University Press (1996).
    • Fox, R. W. (1983). The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880-1980 (Pantheon Books, 1983) [co-editor with Jackson Lears and author of essay entitled “Epitaph for Middletown: Robert S. Lynd and the Analysis of Consumer Culture”].
    • Fox, R. W. (1979). So Far Disordered in Mind: Insanity in California, 1870-1930 (University of California Press, 1979). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Society of American Historians, elected to membership, 2015-2016
    • American Antiquarian Society Fellowship Recipient, Distinguished Senior Mellon Fellowship, 2005-2006
    • American Association of Publishers History Award (Second Place) for Trials of Intimacy, 1999-2000
    • Endowed Chair not USC, Chair in American Civilization, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France, 1997-1998
    • Residency at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellow, 1992-1993
    • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, , 1988-1989
    • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, ACLS Fellowship for College Teachers, 1987-1988
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Editor, Intellectual History Newsletter, 1990 – 1996
    • Board of Managing Editors, American Quarterly, 1992 – 1993
    • Editorial Board Member, Journal of American History, 1989 – 1992