James H. Barnett, 1906-

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James Harwood Barnett was born in Owensboro, KY, on 9 October 1906. He attended Lindsey Wilson Junior College and Berea College, obtaining his A.B. degree in 1928. He was awarded a M.A. in 1930 from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in 1939. He was a Harrison Fellow in Sociology at the University from 1933 until 1935.

Barnett was employed by the University of Connecticut in 1935 as an instructor in Sociology. He specialized in the history of social thought and the sociology of art and literature. He attained full professorship in 1948 as was head of the Sociology Department from 1948 until 1962. Barnett directed the Honor's Program from 1967 until his retirement in 1970. While at the University, Barnett served on numerous committees, including one which resulted in the establishment of the School of Social Work in 1946. He was a member of the University Senate for almost thirty years and was consistently reelected by his colleagues to the Senate Committee of Three, the guardian of academic tenure.

A prolific author, Barnett has over thirty publications, including The American Christmas, a study in national culture published in 1954 and numerous biographies of campus notables, such as Walter Stemmons, Professor I. G. Davis and former President Charles Beach . Barnett saw the purpose of these biographies as portraying “the unique value or contribution each made to his world as he knew it.”

Apart from his scholastic duties, Barnett participated in many civic activities. In 1943, he worked for the War Relocation Authority as a community analyst at a Japan ese relocation camp in Gila, Arizona . While on leave from the University from 1963 to 1965, he served as executive secretary to the Small Grants Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health . On the state level, Barnett was a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Prison Association and the Board of Directors of Connecticut Children's Services . Locally, Barnett served on the Storrs Board of Education and was a member of the original Mansfield Town Council and a Justice of the Peace.

From the guide to the James H. Barnett Papers., undated, 1907-1993., (Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center .)

Archival Resources
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creatorOf James H. Barnett Papers., undated, 1907-1993. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
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Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1906

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