Jon Zimmerman

professor of History and Education, University of Pennsylvania
Jon Zimmerman is professor of history and education at the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarship has focused broadly on the ways that different peoples have imagined and debated education across time and space. Zimmerman’s most recent work examines campus politics in the United States, including controversies over diversity, sexual assault, and “political correctness.” His academic work has appeared in the Journal of American History, the Teachers College Record, and History of Education Quarterly. He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and other popular newspapers and magazines.


Jon A. Shields

Jon Shieldsassociate professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College
Jon A. Shields is associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. His most recent book is Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University, co-authored with Joshua Dunn. His commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Weekly Standard.


Laura Beth Nielsen

research professor, American Bar Association; professor and director of legal studies, Northwestern University
Laura Beth Nielsen is a research professor at the American Bar Foundation as well as a professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on law’s capacity for social change. Her primary field is the sociology of law, with particular interests in legal consciousness (how ordinary people understand the law) and the relationship between law and inequalities of race, gender, and class. Her book License to Harass: Law, Hierarchy, and Offensive Public Speech, (Princeton University Press, 2004) studies racist and sexist street speech, targets’ reactions and responses to it, and attitudes about using law to deal with such speech. She is the author of numerous articles published in the UCLA Law Review, Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, Law and Policy, Stanford Journal of Law and Policy, and the Wisconsin Law Review.


Neil Gross

Moderator; Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology
Neil Gross joined the Colby faculty in 2015 as chair of the Department of Sociology. He taught previously at Princeton, the University of British Columbia, Harvard, and the University of Southern California. Gross works primarily on sociological theory and the sociology of intellectual life. He is the author of Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? (Harvard, 2013) and Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher (Chicago, 2008). He is coeditor of Professors and Their Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2014); of Social Knowledge in the Making (Chicago, 2011); and of Durkheim’s Philosophy Lectures: Notes from the Lycée de Sens Course, 1883-1884 (Cambridge, 2004). Gross’s articles have been published in the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Theory & Society, and other leading journals of the field. From 2009-15 he edited Sociological Theory, the theory journal of the American Sociological Association. He is past chair of the ASA’s History of Sociology and Theory sections.