Adam Laats is an historian interested in conservatism, “culture wars,” and education in the United States. He taught middle- and high school for ten years in sunny Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He now teaches in the Graduate School of Education and History Department at Binghamton University (State University of New York). He was trained as a historian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studied with educational historian William J. Reese and historian of science and medicine Ronald L. Numbers.
He has published widely about the history of conservatism in America’s schools. His first book, Fundamentalism and Education in the Scopes Era: God, Darwin, and the Roots of America’s Culture Wars (Palgrave Macmillan 2010) examined battles over religion and schooling in the 1920s. His new book, The Other School Reformers: Conservative Activism in American Education came out in February 2015 with Harvard University Press. His next book, co-authored with philosopher Harvey Siegel and tentatively titled Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation, is scheduled for release with the University of Chicago Press in January, 2016. His current research examines the twentieth-century history of conservative evangelical colleges and universities. Laats has published articles in such scholarly journals as Church History, History of Education Quarterly, and Teachers College Record. He has contributed essays to the Chronicle of Higher Education, to Education Week, to the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog and to the History News Network.
Laats does not identify as a “conservative” himself. But he tries to write about conservative issues without attacking them. As an historian, he hopes to understand conservatism sympathetically, though personally he disagrees with most of the policies labeled “conservative.”