Ethan Kleinberg

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Ethan Kleinberg is Professor of History and Letters at Wesleyan University, Executive Editor of History and Theory and Director of Wesleyan University's Center for the Humanities. Kleinberg’s wide-ranging scholarly work spans across the fields of history, philosophy, comparative literature and religion. He is the author of Generation Existential: Martin Heidegger’s Philosophy in France, 1927-61, which was awarded the 2006 Morris D. Forkosch prize for the best book in intellectual history, by the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Kleinberg is completing his second book, The Myth of Emmanuel Levinas, on the Talmudic Lectures the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas presented in Paris between 1960 and 1990, and an edited volume of interdisciplinary scholarship on the theme of “Presence.” He is also working on a book length study of deconstruction and the writing of history.

His research interests include European intellectual history with special interest in France and Germany, critical theory, educational structures, and the philosophy of history.

He received his B.A from UC. Berkeley and his Ph.D. from UCLA. For high school he attended Windward School in Los Angeles.

In 1998 he was a Fulbright scholar in France. In 2003 he was the recipient of Wesleyan University’s Carol A. Baker ’81 Memorial Prize for excellence in teaching and research. In 2006 his book Generation Existential: Heidegger’s Philosophy in France, 1927-1961 was awarded the Morris D. Forkosch prize for the best book in intellectual history by the Journal of the History of Ideas. In 2011 he was Directeur d’études invité at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.


Generation Existential: Heidegger’s Philosophy in France, 1927-1961, 2005 Cornell University Press. Paperback edition, 2007. Chinese translation with author’s foreword (Beijing: New Star Press/Xin Xing, July 2008).

“Of Jews and Humanism in France”, Modern Intellectual History volume 9, Number 2, (August 2012).

“The Letter on Humanism: Reading Heidegger in France”, in Situating Existentialism, Robert Bernasconi and Jonathan Judaken eds. (June 2012, Columbia University Press).

“A Perfect Past? Tony Judt and the Historian’s Burden of Responsibility”, French Historical Studies, Volume 35, Number 1 (Winter 2012).

“To Atone and to Forgive: Jaspers, Jankélévitch/Derrida and the possibility of forgiveness” in Jankélévitch and Forgiveness, Alan Udoff ed. (forthcoming from Lexington Press, Rowman and Littlefield).

“Freud and Levinas: Talmud and Psychoanalysis Before the Letter”, Freud’s Jewish World, Arnold Richards ed., (New York: Macfarland Press, January 2010).

“Presence In Absentia” in Storia della Storiografia 55 (2009).

Review of François Cusset, French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2008-09-07 (

Review essay of Allan Bass, Interpretation and Difference: The Strangeness of Care (Stanford University Press, 2006), Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 56, 3, Fall 2008.

“Interdisciplinary Studies at the Crossroads”, Liberal Education, 94, no. 1, Winter 2008.

“Haunting History: Deconstruction and the Spirit of Revision”, History and Theory, 46, no. 4, December 2007.

“New Gods Swelling the Future Ocean”, History and Theory, 46, no. 3, October 2007.

“The Myth of Emmanuel Levinas” in After the Deluge: New Perspectives in French Intellectual and Cultural History, Julian Bourg, ed., Lexington Press, Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.

“Kojève and Fanon: The Fact of Blackness and the Desire for Recognition” in French Civilization and Its Discontents, Tyler Stovall and George Van Den Abbeele, ed., Lexington Press, Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.

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