Dr Austin Harrington


Primarily, my areas of research and teaching include classical and contemporary social theory; sociology of the arts and literature; sociology of religion; and sociology of European ideas and intellectuals.

Although much of my published research is theoretical in nature, I have a large amount of experience teaching core topics in substantive empirical sociology, including contributions to foundational courses and leadership of more specialised options on religion, culture and the arts and debates about European ‘identity’ in comparative historical perspective.

I have taught in Britain (Leeds, Derby), the United States (UCLA) and Germany (Erfurt, Frankfurt an der Oder) and have held post-doctoral positions in Vienna, Florence, Berlin and Los Angeles as well as pre-doctoral scholarships in Tübingen and Paris. In Germany in 2009, I was awarded a Habilitation for the field of sociology from the Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien, Erfurt.

European Journal of Social Theory

Thesis Eleven

Max Weber Studies

Research interests

Currently, I am in the final stages of revisions to a large research monograph on the contemporary relevance of ideas of Europe and the West in the writings of a circle of German liberal-cosmopolitan intellectuals and social critics active in the years of the Weimar Republic and the last years of the Wilhelmine era.

I see these sources as having a substantive interest for debate about modern national and supra-national political identities; an epistemological interest for debate about ‘Eurocentric’ conceptions of the total historical development of human societies; and a diagnostic interest for debate about European political crisis between the two World Wars and the role played in this crisis by intellectuals, ideas, and ideologies.

I am also at work on an English translation of Georg Simmel’s complete essays and shorter writings on art and aesthetics.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I teach introductory sociology, classical and contemporary social theory, sociology of the arts, sociology of religion, and general cultural sociology.

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>