Matthew Specter


Late Modern Europe

Matthew Specter (Ph.D., Duke) is a historian of modern Europe who writes about German intellectuals in the 20th century and the global movement of political and legal ideas. His first book, Habermas: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge, 2010) which examined the career of Germany's leading post-1945 philosopher and public intellectual, Jürgen Habermas, was translated into multiple European languages. He is currently completing a book for Stanford University Press entitled Atlantic Realisms, 1890-1980: Political Thought and Foreign Policy which compares and connects U.S. and German traditions of foreign policy "realism." In 2014, he was appointed one of five editors at History and Theory, the leading international journal in historical theory. He has won competitive research fellowships and grants from, among others, the American Council on Germany, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of the German Social Democratic Party, the Institute for the Human Sciences in Vienna, and the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University. As a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University (2008-17), where he taught modern Germany, the Holocaust, European intellectual history, and human rights history, he was the recipient of a teaching grant from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was often nominated by students for the Excellence in Teaching Award.