Martin Jay

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Martin Jay
Jay in 2014
Martin Evan Jay

(1944-05-04) May 4, 1944 (age 79)
Other namesMartin E. Jay
SpouseCatherine Gallagher (m. c. 1973)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisFrankfurt School[1] (1971)
Doctoral advisorH. Stuart Hughes
Academic work
Sub-disciplineIntellectual history
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Doctoral students
Main interests
Notable worksThe Dialectical Imagination (1973)

Martin Evan Jay (born May 4, 1944) is an American intellectual historian whose research interests connected history with the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, social theory, cultural criticism, and historiography.

He is currently the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.


Jay received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College in 1965. In 1971, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in history at Harvard University under the tutelage of H. Stuart Hughes. His dissertation was later revised into the book The Dialectical Imagination, which covers the history of the Frankfurt School from 1923 to 1950. While he was conducting research for his dissertation, he established a correspondence and friendship with many Frankfurt School members. Leo Löwenthal provided him access to personal letters and documents for his research. Jay's work since then has explored Marxism, socialism, historiography, cultural criticism, visual culture, and the place of post-structuralism and post-modernism in European intellectual history. His current research is focused on nominalism and photography. He is a recipient of the 2010/2011 Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin.[citation needed]

He also has a regular column in the quarterly journal Salmagundi.

Personal life[edit]

Jay was born on May 4, 1944, in New York City.[2] He is Jewish.[3] He married English professor and literary critic Catherine Gallagher circa 1973; they met in 1970 at Berkeley when she was an English graduate student and he was an assistant professor of history.[4]

Published works[edit]

  • 1973 The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-50
  • “The Concept of Totality in Lukács and Adorno”. Telos 32 (Summer 1977). New York: Telos Press.
  • 1984 Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukács to Habermas
  • 1984 Adorno. Fontana Modern Masters.
  • 1985 Permanent Exiles: Essays on the Intellectual Migration from Germany to America
  • 1988 Fin-de-Siècle Socialism and Other Essays
  • 1993 Force Fields: Between Intellectual History and Cultural Criticism
  • 1993 Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought
  • 1998 Cultural Semantics: Keywords of the Age
  • 2003 Refractions of Violence
  • 2004 Songs of Experience: Modern American and European Variations on a Universal Theme
  • 2010 The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics
  • 2011 Essays from the Edge: Parerga and Paralipomena
  • 2016 Reason after Its Eclipse: On Late Critical Theory
  • 2020 Splinters in Your Eye: Frankfurt School Provocations

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jay, Martin (1971). Frankfurt School: An Intellectual History of the Institut für Sozialforschung, 1924–1950 (PhD thesis). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University. OCLC 24165892.
  2. ^ "Martin E. Jay". Department of History - University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Jay, Martin (September 19, 2008). "Joseph Finkelstein". The New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  4. ^ Rimer, Sara (September 30, 2003). "Universities Tighten Rules on Faculty–Student Relationships". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2019.

External links[edit]