Amy Binder

SNF Agora Institute Professor of Sociology


Amy Binder is a professor of sociology and comes to Johns Hopkins from the University of California San Diego. She studies education from a political, organizational, and cultural perspective.

In 2002, she wrote Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools; this book, published by Princeton University Press, won three awards, including the outstanding book award from the Culture section of the American Sociological Association and the American Educational Research Association’s major book award. In 2013, she co-authored Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (Princeton University Press), which has been covered widely in the media. Her most recent book, The Channels of Student Activism: How the Left and Right Are Winning (and Losing) in Campus Politics Today, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022; for that book she was named a finalist for the Next Big Idea Club. She has written several articles, co-edited a special issue on cultural sociology in the American Annals of Political and Social Sciences, and has written opinion editorials and articles, including in the Washington Post and the Washington Monthly.

Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and Kauffman Foundation and, earlier in her career, was a postdoctoral fellow of the National Academy of Education. She was elected chair of the Sociology of Education section of the American Sociological Association, served as a deputy editor for the journal Sociology of Education, and has been a member of three section councils for the ASA: Sociology of Culture, Political Sociology, and Organization Occupations and Work. In 2020, she was elected to the Sociological Research Association. She served as department chair at UC San Diego from 2019 to 2022 and is an emerita member of the Academic Advisory Board of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.