Peter E. Gordon

Peter E. Gordon

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

Research Interests: Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Habermas), Existentialism, Modern French and German Social Thought

Peter E. Gordon is the Amabel B. James Professor of History, Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. He works chiefly on themes in Continental philosophy and social thought in Germany and France in the late-modern era, with an emphasis on critical theory, Western Marxism, the Frankfurt School, phenomenology, and existentialism. Primarily a scholar of modern European social theory, he has published major works on Heidegger, the Frankfurt School, Jürgen Habermas, and Theodor W. Adorno. His book Rosenzweig and Heidegger:  Between Judaism and German Philosophy (2003) received four international awards, including the Salo Baron Prize for the best book in Jewish history, the Goldstein-Goren Prize for the best book in Jewish philosophy, and the Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas. His second book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (2010) received the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society. His third book, Adorno and Existence, was published by Harvard University Press in 2016. He is also co-author of Authoritarianism: Three Inquiries in Critical Theory with Wendy Brown and Max Pensky (2018). His most recent book is Migrants in the Profane:  Critical Theory and the Question of Secularization (2020).  He has also edited numerous collections, including The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy (2007); The Modernist Imagination:  Essays in Intellectual History and Critical Theory (2008); Weimar Thought:  A Contested Legacy (2013); and The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion (2014). He is co-editor with Warren Breckman of The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought (2019), and he is co-editor with Espen Hammer and Axel Honneth of The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School (2018), and co-editor with Espen Hammer and Max Pensky of The Blackwell Companion to Adorno (2020). He is currently writing a book on secularization and social theory since Max Weber. He delivered the Adorno Lectures at the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt in June, 2019, and the lectures will be published in German as a book with Suhrkamp Verlag. For further information, see Professor Gordon's full website here

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)

Research Interests