Associate Professor of History
Johns Hopkins University (Humanities Center), PhD 2008
King Juan Carlos Center, Room 419
Field of Study:
Modern European Intellectual History; French and German Thought; Political Theology and Philosophical Anthropology; History of Medical Concepts; Film; History of Science
I work on modern European history and care most about the history of concepts, knowledge, and time. My research thus far has concentrated on philosophical, anthropological, and political conceptions of the body and the human in modern Europe, as well as on the history of medicine and aesthetics. At NYU, I am an associate professor of history and I also direct the Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (a joint CNRS-NYU research unit). This year I am also serving as director of graduate studies in the History Department.
I have published two books:
• An Atheism that is not Humanist Emerges in French Thought (2010), which is on the transformation of the concept of the human, the rise of antihumanism, and the abandonment of humanist atheismin France in the period 1925-1960.
• Experimente im Individuum: Kurt Goldstein und die Frage des Organismus (2014), co-authored with Todd Meyers; this book is on the concept of the individual in the neurological, experimental, and philosophical writings of the German-Jewish neuropsychiatrist Kurt Goldstein.
Two more books are on their way:
• Transparency in Postwar France: A Critical History of the Present. Now in production at Stanford UP and forthcoming in fall 2017, this book is on the history of the concept of transparency in French philosophical, anthropological, and psychiatric thought after WWII.
• The Brittleness of the Body and the Sciences of the Individual Around World War One, coauthored with Todd Meyers, is on integration, collapse, and related concepts in English, French, German, and American physiology, neurology, related sciences, and political-economic thought. This book is under review.
I have also co-translated two books by the philosopher of science Georges Canguilhem, Knowledge of Life (with Daniela Ginsburg) and Writings on Medicine (with Todd Meyers), and co-edited several volumes, including:• The Scaffold of Sovereignty: Global and Aesthetic Perspectives on the History of a Concept (with Zvi Ben-Dor Benite and Nicole Jerr, forthcoming from Columbia UP in May 2017)
• Power and Time (with Dan Edelstein and Natasha Wheatley, under contract with the University of Chicago Press)
• Writing Prehistory (with Maria Stavrinaki, forthcoming special issue of Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics)
• Conflicts of the Faculties: On Interdisciplinarity (with Richard Baxstrom, special issue of the journal Republics of Letters)
• A Cultural History of Ideas, vol.6: The Twentieth Century (general editors, Sophia Rosenfeld and Peter Struck, under contract with Bloomsbury).
I am currently working on a project on the concept and figure of the New Man in modern European aesthetics, science, and revolution. I have received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (a Ryskamp Fellowship and a Collaborative Fellowship), from the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the FACE Foundation’s Partner University Fund (“Crossroads in Intellectual History,” as co-PI with Gisèle Sapiro (EHESS). I usually teach courses on various aspects of modern European thought (intellectual history, literature, philosophy, anthropology).
This semester (Fall 2016) I am teaching a graduate course on “Image and Word” and an undergraduate lecture course on “The Birth of the Human / The Uses of Prehistory in Modern Europe”, and a graduate seminar called Word and Image. In the spring of 2017 I will be teaching a seminar on the figure of the New Man, 1789-1960.
Books: An Atheism that is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought. Stanford University Press, 2010. Cultural Memory in the Present series.
[Stanford UP site] [Amazon.com]
Experimente im Individuum. Kurt Goldstein und die Frage des Organismus
Co-authored with Todd Meyers. August Verlag, 2014.
[August Verlag website]
Translated and Edited Books:
Georges Canguilhem, Writings on Medicine.
Translated and with an introduction (“Georges Canguilhem’s Critique of Medical Reason”) with Todd Meyers. New York: Fordham UP, 2012. [Fordham UP site] [Amazon.com]
The Scaffold of Sovereignty, co-edited with Zvi Ben-Dor Benite and Nicole Jerr, under contract with Columbia University Press.
Conflicts of the Faculties: Interdisciplinarity, forum of the journal Republics of Letters, co-edited with Richard Baxstrom, January 2014 (some essays are still in the process of being uploaded).
Georges Bataille, Scritti sul fascismo: Contro Heidegger, La Struttura psicologica del fascismo 1933-34. Co-edited with Giuseppe Bianco. Milan: Editioni Mimesis, 2010. [Mimesis site]
“The Plastic Self and the Prescription of
Psychology: Ethnopsychology, Crowd Psychology, and Psychotechnics, 1890-1920,” in Republics of Letters, forum on
“Conflicts of the Faculties: Interdisciplinarity.”
“Postwar Facial Reconstruction: Georges Franju’s Eyes without a Face,” in French Politics, Culture, and Society 31:2 (Spring 2013), 15-33. [PR]
“L’Ascension et la marionnette: L’homme d’après Jean Hyppolite,” in Giuseppe Bianco and Frédéric Worms, eds. Jean Hyppolite (Paris: Rue d’Ulm/PUF, 2013), 83-106.
“Kurt Goldstein’s Conception of Individuality” in H. Schmidgen, P. Schöttler, J.F. Braunstein (eds.), History and Epistemology: From Bachelard and Canguilhem to Today’s History of Science (Berlin: MPIWG Preprints, 2012), 101-110.
Происхождение «Антигуманизма», Или «Конец Истории»,” in Новое Литературное Обозрение (New
Literary Observer [Moscow]), 116:4 (April 2012), 76-90.
“Stories of Lynx: Husserlian Concepts in Transformation (France, 1945-1960),” New German Critique 117 (39:3), special issue in honor of Anson Rabinbach (Fall 2012), 33-45.
“Georges Canguilhem’s Critique of Medical Reason.” Translators’ Introduction (with Todd Meyers) to Georges Canguilhem, Writings on Medicine (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012), 1-24.
“The Brain in Abeyance: Freud and the Claim of Neuropsychoanalysis” forthcoming in History of the Present 1:2 (Fall 2011), 219-243
Slave-Princes, Marshall Plans: Carl Schmitt in Hegel’s France,” Modern Intellectual History 8:3 (2011),
Introduction to Complexity” (with Todd Meyers) to Geroulanos and Meyers,
eds. Henri Atlan: Selected Writings on
Self-Organization, Philosophy, Bioethics and Judaism, (Fordham Univ. Press,
Exiles, New Scientific Movements, and Phenomenology: History of a Philosophical
Immigration in 1930s France,” New
German Critique 113 (Spring 2011), 89-128.
Atheism, Antihumanism,” and “Atheism and
Antihumanism as Intellectual-Historical Objects,” on The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere (SSRC).
“The 1987 French
Heidegger Affair in Intellectual-Historical Perspective,” in The Journal of
French Philosophy 18.1 (Fall 2008), 26-67.
Thinking Freedom: Maurice Blanchot’s The
Most High,” in MLN (Modern
Language Notes), 122:5 (Dec. 2007), 1050-78.
Transparency, Omnipotence, Modernity,” in Hent de Vries and Lawrence
Sullivan, eds. Political Theologies:
Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (New York: Fordham, 2006).
“An Anthropology of Exit: Bataille on Heidegger and Fascism,” October 117 (Summer 2006), 3-24.