Peter Fenves Joan and Sarepta Harrison Professor of Literature, Department of German and Program in Comparative Literary Studies

Peter Fenves is the author of A Peculiar Fate: Metaphysics and World-History in Kant (1991), “Chatter”: Language and History in Kierkegaard (1993), Arresting Language: From Leibniz to Benjamin (2001), and most recently Late Kant: Towards Another Law of the Earth (2003). He is also the editor of Raising the Tone of Philosophy: Late Essays by Kant, Transformative Critique by Derrida (1993), the co-editor of “The Spirit of Poesy”: Essays on Jewish and German Literature and Philosophy in Honor of Géza von Molnár (2000), and the translator of Werner Hamacher’s Premises: Literature and Philosophy from Kant to Celan (1996).  Among his recent projects are an extensive introduction to the re-issuing of Max Brod’s novel, Tycho Brahe’s Way to God (2006) and The Messianic Reduction: Walter Benjamin and the Abstention from Philosophy, currently under review.  He gave a preliminary version of his work in progress, “No One’s Thing: On the Idea of ‘Res Nullius’ and the Search for a Critique of Violence”, for the Gauss Lectures at Princeton University in the Fall of 2006. Professor Fenves has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and Harvard in addition to Northwestern.

Jewish Studies Courses

  • German 234: Jews & Germans: An Intercultural History
  • German 242: Imagining Modern Jewish Culture in Yiddish and German