(Ph.D., University of Michigan; Professor)
Professor Pittenger holds a Ph.D. in American Culture and has taught at the University of Colorado since 1989. As a U.S. intellectual and cultural historian focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, he is especially interested in the circulation and deployment of ideas—in their variable readings and misreadings, and their social and political uses—beyond the precincts of their production. He is the author of American Socialists and Evolutionary Thought, 1870-1920 (1993), in which he explored the impact of evolutionary theory on American socialist thought and political practice, and of Class Unknown: Undercover Investigations of American Work and Poverty from the Progressive Era to the Present (2012), a study of class passing and the construction of ideas about poverty and social class in the modern U.S. He is currently at work on a book about the connections between liberal religion and social activism, tentatively entitled The Unitarian Left in the Twentieth Century: Liberal Religion and Radical Politics.