• Paul Kottman

    Associate Professor and Chair of Liberal Studies


    Paul Kottman is the author of Love as Human Freedom (Stanford University Press, 2017); Tragic Conditions in Shakespeare (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009); A Politics of the Scene (Stanford University Press, 2008). He is also the editor of The Art of Hegel's Aesthetics: Hegelian Philosophy and the Perspectives of Art History (Fink, 2017); The Insistence of Art: Aesthetic Philosophy After Early Modernity (Fordham, 2017); and Philosophers on Shakespeare (Stanford University Press, 2009). Paul edits the book series, Square One: First-Order Questions in the Humanities (Stanford University Press).

    Degrees Held:

    PhD 2000, University of California at Berkeley

    Recent Publications:

    Books and Edited Volumes

    Love as Human Freedom, Stanford University Press, 2017

    The Art of Hegel's Aesthetics: Hegelian Philosophy and the Perspectives of Art History (Fink, 2018)

    The Insistence of Art: Aesthetic Philosophy after Early Modernity (Fordham University Press, 2017)

    Disinheriting the Globe: Tragic Conditions in Shakespeare, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

    A Politics of the Scene, Stanford University Press, 2008.

    Philosophers on Shakespeare, editor, Stanford University Press, 2009.

    Selected Articles and Book Chapters

    “Preface” to Theodor W. Adorno, Notes to Literature (Columbia University Press, forthcoming)

    “Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (forthcoming)

    “Bliss Unrevealed: The Trial in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale,” in Entertaining the Idea: Shakespeare, Philosophy, Performance, edited by Julia Reinhard Lupton and Lowell Gallagher (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming)   Review of David Schalkwyk, Shakespeare, Love and Language in Shakespeare Quarterly (forthcoming)   Review of Blair Hoxby, What was Tragedy? Theory and the Early Modern Canon, in Theatre Journal, (forthcoming)   “Learning to Notice: From Chauvet Cave to Plato’s Cave,” On Plato and the Moving Image, edited by Michael Weinmann (Brill, forthcoming)   Review of Alberto Siani, Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto in Critique, September 2018   The Sexual Origins of Patriarchy,” in Aeon, April 30, 2018   “Self-uncertainty as self-realization,” in Centers of Reflection: Literature, Philosophy and Thought, edited by Tzachi Zamir, series edited by Richard Eldridge (Oxford University Press, 2017)   “Art and Necessity: On the Critical Practice of Lessing’s Laokoon, and its Implications” in Rethinking Lessing’s ‘Limits’: New Approaches to the Laokoon, edited by Avi Lifschitz & Michael Squire (Cambridge University Press, 2017)   “Review of Rocco Rubini, The Other Renaissance” in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, Volume 37, no. 2, 2016   “What Can the Human Sciences Say about Freedom Today?” in Psychoanalysis and Politics, special issue of Política común, Volume 9, 2016

    "What is Shakespearean Tragedy?" in Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy, Oxford University Press, 2016.

    "Duel," in Early Modern Theatricality, Oxford University Press, 2014

    "Why think about Shakespearean Tragedy Today?" in Claire McEachern (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    "Defying the Stars: Tragic Love as the Struggle for Freedom in Romeo and Juliet," Shaksepeare Quarterly Vol. 63(1), 2012.

    "No Greater Powers than we can Contradict," Criticism (Special Issue on Shakespeare and Phenomenology), Vol. 54(3), 2012.

    "Novus Ordo Saeclarum: Hannah Arendt on Revolutionary Spirit, in Graham Hammill and Julia Lupton (eds.) Political Theology in Early Modernity, University of Chicago Press, 2012.

    "Slipping on Banana Peels, Tumbling into Wells: Philosophy and Comedy," Diacritics, Vol. 38(4), 2008.

    Professor Kottman's reviews and additional articles can be found at The Los Angeles Review of BooksConstellations, and other publications. Please visit his personal website.

    Performances And Appearances:

    Lecture series (twelve lectures), Fudan University, Shanghai China, March and May, 2019

    “Hegel and Shakespeare,” Temple University, Philosophy Department, October 29, 2018

    Author meets critics, on Love as Human Freedom (with Espen Hammer, Julia Peters and Omri Boehm), The New School for Social Research, October 3, 2018

    “Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies,” Royal Holloway conference on Shakespeare and Philosophy, September 3, 2018

    “Derrida and Shakespeare,” Garrick Temple, Kingston University, September 1, 2018

    “Hegel and Literature,” Università degli studi di Padova, Philosophy Department, July 12, 2018

    “Toward a Critique of Failed Reason,” Università di Parma, Philosophy Department, July 11, 2018

     “The Pastness of Art,” Università di PisaItaly, July 3, 2018          

    “Love as Human Freedom (Author meets critics),” Università degli studi di Verona, Italy, May 15, 2018

    “Toward a Critique of Failed Reason” – Annual Lecture Magistralis, Università degli studi di Verona, Italy, May 14, 2018

    “On Hegel and the Pastness of Art,” Temple University, Rome Graduate Summer School, May 12, 2018

    “Shakespeare and the Pastness of Art,” Harvard, Mahindra Humanities Center, April 20 2018

    “Modern Tragedy,” Fudan University, Shanghai, China, April 15, 2018

    “Toward a Critique of Failed Reason,” Fudan University, Shanghai, China, April 13, 2018

    Invited respondent to panel on technology and performance at the Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, April 2-3, 2018

    “Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies,” Montclair State University, Annual Lecture in Early Modern Studies, February 20, 2018

    “Love as Human Freedom,” University of Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen, Inst. f. Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, November 15, 2017

    “Love as Human Freedom,” Universität Bonn, Department of Philosophy, November 14, 2017

    “Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies” Duke University, October 20, 2017        

    “Shakespeare and Nietzsche,” Garrick’s Temple, Kingston Shakespeare Seminar, London, September 2, 2017

    “Hegel and Shakespeare on the Pastness of Art,” Entertaining the Idea: Shakespeare | Philosophy | Performance, University of California, Los Angeles, April 30, 2017

    “Shakespeare and Hegel,” Garrick’s Temple, Kingston Shakespeare Seminar, London, April 1, 2017

    “Some Remarks on King Lear,” Boston University, English Department, November 19, 2016

    “Love as Human Freedom,” The New School for Social Research, Department of Philosophy Workshop, September 22, 2016

    “What is Shakespearean Tragedy?” Garrick’s Temple, London, September 3, 2016

    “Accidents in Shakespeare,” ‘All things changed to the contrary’ Comic-Tragic Contiguities in the Verona Plays, International Conference at the Università degli studi di Verona, Department of English, June 22-23, 2016

    “Hegel and Shakespeare on the Pastness of Art,” ‘Hegel and the Art of Art History,’ Kings College, University of London, June 8-10, 2016

    “Philosophy and Literature,” Neubauer Collegium, ‘Disciplines of Literature’ Conference, University of Chicago, May 23, 2016

    Response to Espen Hammer, “Hegel and Marx,” New York German Idealism Workshop, May 13, 2016

    “Hegel and Shakespeare,” Shakespeare au risque de la philosophie, International Conference, University of Poitiers, France, March 16-17, 2016

    “Philology and Humanistic Inquiry,” Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago, February 18-19, 2016

    Research Interests:

    Shakespeare; Philosophy; Literary Theory; Aesthetics

    Awards And Honors:

    • Fellowship, Center for Advanced Studies, University of Cologne/Universität zu Köln
    • Solmsen Post-doctoral Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Center for Humanities
    • Andrew Mellon Fellowship, UC Berkeley

    Current Courses:


    Book to Film (Spring 2020)

    Hegel's Aesthetics (Spring 2019)

    Ind Senior Project (Spring 2020)

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Spring 2020)

    The Making of the Modern World

    Verona: Language & Literature

    Verona: Shakespeare