Jonathon Catlin


Jonathon Catlin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM), where he works on modern European intellectual history, Jewish studies, and the history of critical theory. His dissertation is a history of the concept of “catastrophe” in twentieth-century European thought, taking inspiration from the methodology of conceptual history pioneered by the German historian Reinhart Koselleck. He is interested in how intellectual responses to historical catastrophes such as Auschwitz, Hiroshima, the Vietnam War, and 9/11 came to define contemporary thought, focusing on German and Jewish intellectuals including Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Emmanuel Levinas, Ernst Bloch, and Günther Anders. Before coming to Princeton he studied Great Books and Jewish studies at the University of Chicago and then earned an M.A. in philosophy at KU Leuven, in Belgium. He is broadly interested in Frankfurt School critical theory, Marxism and the Western Marxist tradition, psychoanalysis, trauma theory, Holocaust and genocide studies, and the aesthetics and representation catastrophe.


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