I am a sociologist affiliated with the Center for German and European Studies, the George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, and the George L. Mosse Program in History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I specialize in political and comparative-historical sociology as well as social theory.

I earned my doctoral degree at the New School for Social Research with a dissertation on the contested rights of relief workers and workfare workers in the United States. I joined the faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2001; in 2007 I was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure; and in 2012 I was promoted to full professor. I have also been a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Advanced Research Collaborative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a European Institutes for Advanced Study Senior Fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, and a visiting fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien.