Christopher Capozzola specializes in the political and cultural history of the United States from 1861 to 1945. He graduated from Harvard College and competed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2002. He has held fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Carnegie Scholars Program, and the Social Science Research Council. At MIT, he teaches courses in political and legal history, cultural history, and the history of race, gender, and class.
Professor Capozzola's research interests are in the history of war and politics in everyday life. He is currently completing work on a book tentatively titled Uncle Sam Wants You: The Politics of Obigation in America's First World War. The book examines the relationship between citizens, voluntary associations, and the federal government during World War I, through explorations of military conscription and conscientious objection, homefront voluntarism, regulation of enemy aliens, and the emergence of civil liberties movements. An article based on his research won the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award of the Organization of American Historians and the Biennial Article Prize of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
A new project brings together his interests in citizenship, the military, and migration. Following the Flag: Filipino Soldiers in America's Pacific Century, 1898-2001, traces the experiences of Filipino soldiers and sailors in the armed forces of both the United States and the Philippines from the Spanish-American War to the war in Iraq. It examines the importance of military service in shaping Filipino citizenship and national identity, as well as the role of the Philippines and Filipino people in the rise of US military dominance in the twentieth century. Part of his research next spring will be supported by a research grant from the Historical Society of Southern California.
He has published articles and essays in American Quarterly, Georgetown Law Journal, Journal of American History, Journal of Women's History, New England Quarterly, and Rethinking History, as well as in popular periodicals including The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, New Labor Forum, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post Book World.