Moishe Postone

Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of History; Center for Jewish Studies; and in the College
Co-Director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory
Dr Phil 1983 J.W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt

William Rainey Harper Memorial Library,
East Tower 481 – Office
(773) 702-8560 – Office telephone
(773) 702-7550 – Fax

Mailing Address

The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637


Field Specialties

Modern European intellectual history; social theory, especially critical theories of modernity; twentieth-century Germany; anti-Semitism; contemporary global transformations.


My research and teaching focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European intellectual history, with emphasis on critical social theories. I am particularly interested in self-reflexive theories of historical context—theories that seek to grasp social, economic, and cultural processes in ways that illuminate the relation of such processes to the theories themselves. My work also focuses on the problematic of modern anti-Semitism and questions of history, memory, and identity in postwar Germany, as well as on the issue of the global transformations of the past three decades and their implications for understanding the historical trajectory of the twentieth century.


History and Heteronomy: Critical Essays. Tokyo: The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy, 2009.

“The Subject and Social Theory: Marx and Lukács on Hegel,” in Andrew Chitty and Martin McIvor (eds,), Marx and Contemporary Philosophy, Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2009.

“Capital in Light of the Grundrisse,” in Marcello Musto (ed.) Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy One Hundred and Fifty Years Later. London and New York: Routledge. 2008

Time, Labor and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Marx Reloaded: Repensar la teoria critica del capitalismo. Madrid: Traficantes de Suenos. 2007

Deutschland, die Linke und der Holocaust—Politische Interventionen. Freiburg, Germany: Ca Ira Verlag, 2005.

Marx est-il devenu muet: Face à la mondialisation? Paris: les éditions de l'Aube, 2003.

Catastrophe and Meaning: The Holocaust and the Twentieth Century, (Co-editor with Eric Santner), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives, (Co-editor with Craig Calhoun and Edward LiPuma), Chicago and Cambridge: University of Chicago Press and Polity Press, 1993.

"Theorizing the Contemporary World: David Harvey, Giovanni Arrighi, Robert Brenner," in R. Albritton, B. Jessop, R. Westra (eds.), Political Economy of the Present and Possible Global Future(s), London, New York, Delhi: Anthem Press. 2007.

"Reflections on Jewish History as General History: Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem," in Raphael Gross and Yfaat Weiss (eds.), Jüdische Geschichte als Allgemeine Geschichte, Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2006.

"Critique, State, and Economy" in Fred Rush (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

"The Holocaust and the Trajectory of the Twentieth Century," in M. Postone and E. Santner (eds.) Catastrophe and Meaning. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

"Lukács and the Dialectical Critique of Capitalism," in R. Albritton and J. Simoulidis, (eds.), New Dialectics and Political Economy, Houndsmill, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

"Contemporary Historical Transformations: Beyond Postindustrial and Neo-Marxist Theories," Current Perspectives in Social Theory 19, 1999. Stamford, Conn: JAI Press Inc., 1999.

"Deconstruction as Social Critique: Derrida on Marx and the New World Order," [review essay on Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx] in History and Theory, October, 1998.

"Rethinking Marx in a Postmarxist World," in Charles Camic (ed.), Reclaiming the Sociological Classics. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.

"Political Theory and Historical Analysis," in C. Calhoun (ed.), Habermas and the Public Sphere, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992.

"History and Critical Social Theory," (Review essay on Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action) in Contemporary Sociology 19:2, March, 1990.

"After the Holocaust: History and Identity in West Germany," in K. Harms, L.R. Reuter and V. Dürr (eds.), Coping with the Past: Germany and Austria after 1945, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.

"Anti-Semitism and National Socialism," in A. Rabinbach and J. Zipes (eds.), Germans and Jews Since the Holocaust, New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986.