Martin Shuster

Assistant Professor and Director of Judaic Studies

Van Meter 153


B.A., University of Maryland, Balitmore County
M.A., Yale University
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Jewish thought and philosophy, 18-20th century European philosophy (esp. Kant, Hegel, and German Idealism), critical theory (esp. Adorno, the Frankfurt school, and theories of race and gender), value theory (ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy), philosophy of religion, and ordinary language philosophy (esp. Stanley Cavell).

Recent Publications/Presentations/Performances

Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Reviewed in Times Literary Supplement, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Goethe Yearbook, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Radical Philosophy, and Philosophy in Review.

Author Meets Critics Panels: American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division), Association for Adorno Studies.

Book Symposium: Critique.

Philosophy and New American Television Series, edited w/ Paola Marrati, special issue of Modern Language Notes (MLN), 127:5, 2013, vii-ix + 981-1095.

"A Geographical Sketch of Silence," Four by Three Magazine, invited contribution to a special issue on Silence.

"Adorno and Negative Theology," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 37:1, 2016, 97-130.

"The Ordinariness and Absence of the World: Cavell's Ontology of the Screen-Reading The World Viewed," Modern Language Notes (MLN), 130:5, 2015, 1067-1099.

"On the Ethical Basis of Language: Davidson, Levinas, and Cavell on Language and Others," Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, 14:2, 2015, 241-266.

"Nothing to Know: The Epistemology of Moral Perfectionism in Adorno and Cavell," Idealistic Studies, 44:1, 2014, 1-29.

"Kant's Opus Postumum and McDowell's Critique of Kant," The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 52:4, 2014, 427-444.

"Humor as an Optics: Bergson and the Ethics of Humor," Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 28:3, 2013, 618-632.

Awards/Significant Accomplishments

Summer Faculty Research Workshop Leader and Organizer (w/ Anne O'Byrne), Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2015: "Genocide, Agency, and the Nation State after Auschwitz"

Co-Principal Investigator (w/ J. Aaron Simmons) for "A Cross-Cultural Inquiry into Religious Understanding," through the Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology, Research Grant (Fordham University/Templeton Foundation), 2014-2015, ($97,520).

Diane and Howard Wohl Scholar in Residence, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, 2007-2008.


With Kathy Kiloh, I am also the founder and former president of the Association for Adorno Studiesand the general editor of a new journal, Adorno Studies. Beginning in 2016, I will be the area editor of the 'Contemporary European Philosophy and Critical Theory' section of Syndicate Philosophy. My new book, The Screen and Us: Norms, Natality, and New Televisionshould be published with University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2017. It focuses on the artistic and political significance of what I term 'new television' (shows like The Wire, Weeds, Breaking Bad, and others). With Anne O'Byrne, I am putting together an edited volume called Logics of Genocide: Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World (under contract with Indiana University Press). The collections features more than a dozen chapters examining what Anne and I have termed 'genocidal logics.' In addition to a few articles and book chapters on post-WW2 figures (Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Améry, and Hannah Arendt), I am also in the early stages of work on two additional book projects. The first is tentatively titled Genocide, Autonomy, and the State looks at the relationship between autonomy, genocidal violence, and the state structure into which we have organized ourselves. The second is as yet untitled project on negation and negativity in Jewish philosophy, focusing on Maimonides, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, and Gershom Scholem. Finally, with Daniela Ginsburg, I have recently translated Jean-François Kervégan's magnum opus, L'effectif et le rationnel. Hegel et l'esprit objectif (Paris: Vrin, 2008, 408 pages), and it should appear soon with the University of Chicago press. 

Interview with me by J. Aaron Simmons about my philosophy of religion research.

Podcast Interview with me by Dave O'Brien in the New Books in Critical Theory series about Autonomy after Auschwitz.

My website is here.