Peter E. Gordon

Peter E. Gordon

Amabel B. James Professor of History
Department of History
Harvard College Professor
peter gordon

Peter Gordon specializes in modern European Intellectual History from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century.  He works chiefly on themes in Continental philosophy and social thought in Germany and France in the modern period, with an emphasis on critical theory, Western Marxism, the Frankfurt School, phenomenology, and existentialism. He regularly teaches a survey of German Social Thought from Nietzsche to Habermas, and a survey of French Social Thought from Durkheim to Foucault.  He has written a great deal about Martin Heidegger, and has taught courses and published essays about the Frankfurt School, Theodor Adorno and music criticism, Weimar Intellectuals, Hannah Arendt, political theology, theories of secularization, theories of historical ontology and historical epistemology, social theory after the Holocaust, and modern Jewish thought.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Peter E. Gordon attended the University of Chicago and Reed College, and received his PhD in modern European intellectual history from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997. From 1998 to 2000, he was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University.  He joined the faculty at Harvard University in the autumn of 2000, and he was appointed to a position on the permanent faculty in 2005.  He is currently Amabel B. James Professor of History, and Harvard College Professor, an honorary title that is awarded to faculty for excellence in teaching.  He is also a faculty affiliate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, an affiliate of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, a faculty affiliate of the Department of Philosophy, and has a permanent seat on the Standing Committee for Degrees in Social Studies. He has been named a finalist twice for the Levinson Award for undergraduate teaching, and, in 2005, he received the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He has been the recipient of fellowships from Princeton University, and has been a visiting professor at the École Normale Supêrieure, and the School for Criticism and Theory at Cornell University

Professor Gordon serves on the editorial boards for Modern Intellectual History, The Journal of the History of Ideasand New German Critique; he has written for The New York Review of Books and he was a regular contributor of book reviews to The New Republic, in addition to other public journals and websites. He is co-editor of 'Intellectual History of the Modern Age,' a series published by Penn Press; he is also co-editor of the forthcoming The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought. He is currently working on a new book on secularization and social thought in the twentieth century. His newest book, entitled Adorno and Existence, is also forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Contact Information

Center for European Studies
Room 305
27 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-4303 ext. 290
Office Hours: Th 2-3:30 (appt required)

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