Dr. Emily J. Levine is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) History at Stanford University. She received her PhD in History and the Humanities at Stanford and her BA from Yale, where she later returned as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. She is the author of Allies and Rivals: German-American Exchange and the Rise of the Modern Research University (University of Chicago Press, 2021), and Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press, 2013), which was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize by the American Historical Association. Levine has published in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, Foreign Policy, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed, as well as in top scholarly journals. She was the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and her work is currently supported by a multi-year Stanford grant dedicated to Recovering the University as a Public Good. Before arriving at Stanford, Levine was Associate Professor of European History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she held the Candace Bernard and Robert Glickman Dean’s Professorship and chaired the Triangle Intellectual History Seminar.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Jewish Studies (2022 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship, National Humanities Center Fellowship (2017-18)
  • Alexander v. Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Free University of Berlin (2012-13)
  • Postdoctoral Travel Fund Award, Yale University (2009)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Yale University (2008–10)
  • Distinguished Departmental Scholar, Stanford University (2007-08)
  • Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Fellowship in Jewish Culture, Center for Jewish History (2007-08)
  • Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Stanford University (2007-08)
  • Visiting Scholar, New York University (2006-08)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Associate Professor, Department of History, UNC Greensboro (2016 - 2019)
  • Candace Bernard and Robert Glickman Dean’s Professor, UNC Greensboro (2015 - 2016)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of History, UNC Greensboro (2010 - 2016)
  • Lecturer, Yale University (2009 - 2010)
  • Instructor, Yale University (2008 - 2010)

Professional Education

  • PhD, Stanford University, History and the Humanities (2008)
  • MA, Stanford University, Modern European History (2005)
  • BA, Yale University, History (2001)

Research Interests

  • Higher Education
  • History
  • History of Education
  • Philosophy
  • Research Methods

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Current research topics include a genealogy of academic concepts; the contemporary consequences of Germany and America’s divergent paths in knowledge organization; Jews and private philanthropy for scholarship; the historical tension between knowledge-for-its-own sake and applied knowledge; the global transfer of the kindergarten, mass schooling, and higher education; and the history and future of institutional innovation.


  • Allies and Rivals: German-American Exchange and the Rise of the Modern Research University

    During the nineteenth century, nearly ten thousand Americans traveled to Germany to study in universities renowned for their research and teaching. By the mid-twentieth century, American institutions led the world. How did America become the center of excellence in higher education? And what does that story reveal about who will lead in the twenty-first century?

    Allies and Rivals is the first history of the ascent of American higher education seen through the lens of German-American exchange. In a series of compelling portraits of such leaders as Wilhelm von Humboldt, Martha Carey Thomas, and W. E. B. Du Bois, Emily J. Levine shows how academic innovators on both sides of the Atlantic competed and collaborated to shape the research university. Even as nations sought world dominance through scholarship, universities retained values apart from politics and economics. Open borders enabled Americans to unite the English college and German PhD to create the modern research university, a hybrid now replicated the world over.

    In a captivating narrative spanning one hundred years, Levine upends notions of the university as a timeless ideal, restoring the contemporary university to its rightful place in history. In so doing she reveals that innovation in the twentieth century was rooted in international cooperation—a crucial lesson that bears remembering today.


    Stanford, CA

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Baltimore Teaches, Göttingen Learns: Cooperation, Competition, and the Research University, The American Historical Review Levine, E. 2016: 780-823
  • The Other Weimar: The Warburg Circle as Hamburg School JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF IDEAS Levine, E. J. 2013; 74 (2): 307–30
  • Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School Levine, E. J. The University of Chicago Press. 2013
  • PanDora, or Erwin and Dora Panofsky and the Private History of Ideas JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY Levine, E. J. 2011; 83 (4): 753–87

    View details for DOI 10.1086/662217

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299618700002