James H. Capshew received a B.A. (1979) in psychology from Indiana University, and an M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1986) in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys adjunct appointments in the departments of History and of American Studies, and the School of Education.
Capshew has worked in the broad field of American science and learning with several foci of interest, including studies of academic psychology in social and institutional context, and the history and culture of higher education, including university leadership. Increasingly, the environmental humanities, including environmental history, are subjects of his research, teaching, and service. Current IU affiliations include the Integrated Program in the Environment and the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society.
Capshew served as Editor of History of Psychology, a research journal sponsored by the American Psychological Association, from 2005 to 2009. For the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography (Scribners, 2007), he was on the advisory committee as well as subject editor for entries on psychology.
- The Legacy of the Laboratory: Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, 1888-2013 (PBS, 2014).
- "History of Psychology Since 1945: A North American Review," in A Historiography of the Modern Social Sciences, edited by R.E. Backhouse & P. Fontaine (Cambridge, 2014), 144-182.
- Herman B Wells: The Promise of the American University (Indiana, 2012)
- "Reflexivity Revisited: Changing Psychology's Frame of Reference," in Psychology's Territories: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives from Different Disciplines, edited by M.G. Ash & T. Sturm (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006).
- "Kinsey's Biographers: A Historiographical Reconnaissance." Journal of the History of Sexuality 12 (2003): 465–486. [With M.H. Adamson, P.A. Buchanan, N. Murray, N. Wake]
- Psychologists on the March: Science, Practice, and Professional Identity in America, 1929–1969. (Cambridge, 1999).