Christian J. Emden

  • Emden
Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Rayzor Hal 326
Research and Teaching: 

Modern intellectual history and political thought

Most of my work falls into the field of German and European modern intellectual history and political thought, and I am also Co-Director, with Peter C. Caldwell, of Rice’s new program in Politics, Law & Social Thought.

Within the wider context of modern intellectual history, I am mainly interested in varieties of political realism, especially as they focus on the relationship between political citizenship and the modern state, and also in the manifestations of political citizenship in an increasingly postnational world. Currently, I am working on Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt, but also on more recent political thinkers, such as Jürgen Habermas, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt.

A second line of inquiry is concerned with the emergence of normativity and philosophical naturalism. Apart from my publications on Nietzsche, this interest has also led me to an ongoing research project on the history of "epistemic images," from nineteenth-century images of bacteria to contemporary fMRI scans, which is informed by current debates about philosophical naturalism and new materialism. 

Selected Publications: 
  • Nietzsche's Naturalism: Philosophy and the Life Sciences in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  • Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). Paperback edition 2011. Turkish translation 2013.
  • Walter Benjamins Archäologie der Moderne: Kulturwissenschaft um 1930 (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2006).
  • Nietzsche on Language, Consciousness, and the Body (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005).
  • Ed. with David Midgley, Beyond Habermas: Democracy, Knowledge, and the Public Sphere (New York: Berghahn, 2012).
  • "Nietzsche's Will to Power: Biology, Naturalism, and Normativity,"Journal of Nietzsche Studies 47 (2016), 30-60.
  • "Constitutionalizing the Public Sphere: Habermas and the Modern State," in Bernd Fischer and May Mergenthaler (eds.), Cultural Transformation of the Public Sphere:Contemporary and Historical Perspectives (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2015), 121-54.
  • "Die Normativität des Kapitals: Zur politischen Aktualität von Georg Simmels Philosophie des Geldes," Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie 9 (2015), 179-205.
  • "Postnational Constellations? Political Citizenship and the Modern State," in Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh (eds.), Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully (London: Routledge, 2014), 121-43.
  • "Land, Race, and Citizenship: The Political Spaces of Monumentalism in South Africa," Anglia 131/2-3 (2013), 1-40.
  • "Nietzsche, Kant, and Teleology," in Karl Ameriks, Nicholas Boyle, and Liz Disley (eds.), The Impact of Idealism–The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought, Volume 1: Philosophy and Natural Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 166-90.
  • "Theorizing the Political in Germany, 1890-1945: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Franz Neumann," European History Quarterly 38 (2008), 608-25.