A Brief Biography

Curriculum Vitae

Peter E. Gordon 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. He regularly teaches a survey of German Social Thought from Nietzsche to Habermas, and a survey of French Social Thought from Durkheim to Foucault.  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 no less than four separate 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 Barzun prize from the American Philosophical Society.  His most recent book, Adorno and Existence, was published by Harvard University Press in 2016.  In addition to several monographs on modern European philosophy, and numerous edited collections, he has also written on a wide variety of themes, such as Max Weber's sociology, theories of secularization, political theology, theories of historical ontology and historical epistemology, Adorno's music criticism, social theory after the Holocaust, and modern Jewish thought.  A full listing of his publications can be found by consulting the "publications" link above, or by consulting his CV above, or by following the link above to publications on amazon.

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 Princeton Society of Fellows.  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, Faculty Affiliate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Faculty Affiliate of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate of the Department of Philosophy.  He also has a permanent seat on the Standing Committee for Degrees in Social Studies.  Between 2010 and 2015, he was Harvard College Professor, an honorary title that is awarded to faculty for excellence in teaching. 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.  For the year 2017-18 he was awarded a Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship for excellence in scholarship. He has been the recipient of fellowships from Princeton University, and has been a visiting professor at the École Normale Supérieure, 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 Ideas, Jewish Social Studiesand New German Critique; he has published reviews in The New York Times Book Review, The New RepublicThe Boston Review of BooksThe Nation, and The New York Review of Books. He is co-editor of 'Intellectual History of the Modern Age,' a series published by Penn Press; he is also co-editor, with Axel Honneth and Espen Hammer, of The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School (forthcoming), and coeditor, with Warren Breckman, of The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought (forthcoming). His newest book, entitled Adorno and Existencewas published by Harvard University Press in 2016. He is currently writing a new book on secularization and social thought in the twentieth century.