I am a PhD Candidate in History at Harvard University, specializing in European intellectual history and modern German history. My research interests broadly encompass the history of modern European social, political, and legal thought, the links between religion and politics, and the role of intellectuals in successive processes of democratic collapse and reconstruction in twentieth-century Germany. My dissertation, "Faith for This World: Protestantism and the Reconstruction of Constitutional Democracy in Germany, 1933-1968," asks how lay intellectuals and theologians affiliated with the Protestant churches could emerge as vocal defenders of constitutional democracy and human rights in postwar West Germany, following a legacy of compromise and belated resistance under National Socialism and a tradition of support for anti-democratic regimes. I focus on the intellectual debates and political entanglements through which a generation of Protestant thinkers who came of age under National Socialism reassessed longstanding doctrines of absolute obedience to state authority. In doing so, Protestants made significant contributions to theorizing the relationship between individual and state in postwar constitutional democracy, and to a range of domains of constitutional law — including the legal regulation of the family and religious education, the right of conscientious objection to military service, and the right of resistance to breaches of the constitutional order. Interweaving approaches from intellectual, political, legal, and cultural history, I demonstrate the ongoing salience of religious thought and cultures for German debates about the legacies of Nazism and the ethics of democratic citizenship, into the 1960s and beyond.
I am currently completing my dissertation with a fellowship from the Center for European Studies at Harvard. I spent the 2015-16 academic year conducting dissertation research in Germany with a grant from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, and in 2016-17 I was a Graduate Fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. Before beginning graduate school, I was the inaugural Richard W. Sonnenfeldt Fellow at the American Jewish Committee Berlin, where I conducted research on Holocaust education in contemporary Germany. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania with a thesis on the early intellectual formation of the German political theorist and Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt.
My article on Adorno, Weimar philosophy, and psychoanalysis has appeared online with Modern Intellectual History: https://doi.org/10.1017/S147924431700049X