Eli Lichtenstein

Eli B. Lichtenstein

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

John R. Howard Hall 226, MSC: 45

I view philosophy as both a historical tradition and a reflexive mode for questioning deep-seated beliefs and values. I accordingly teach philosophical texts as situated attempts to articulate and resolve problems that remain deeply pertinent today. My goal is to help students cultivate capacities to reflect critically on self and world with resources from the philosophical past.

My scholarship seeks to explain how we can use history to critique present forms of state and social violence. I argue that genealogical research may become an instrument of emancipation when it is guided by the normative commitments that are immanent to social struggles. My broader research interests lie in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, critical theory, social and political philosophy, and critical philosophy of race.

When not reading or writing philosophy, I like to go to the cinema, cross-country ski, and (try) to learn new languages.

Academic Credentials

PhD in Philosophy, Northwestern University, 2022

MA in Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, 2016

BA in Philosophy, Eugene Lang College, The New School, 2015


Fall 2023 Courses:


PHIL 102: Introduction to Philosophy
MWF 10:20AM - 11:20AM

Introduction to problems and fields of philosophy through the study of major philosophers’ works and other philosophical texts. Specific content varies with instructor.

Prerequisites: None.


PHIL 217: Critical Theory
MWF 12:40PM - 01:40PM

Critical theory is a philosophical tradition that theorizes oppression and domination in order to contribute to efforts to transform the world. Philosophers in this tradition thus seek to reveal the nature of unequal power relations and to ultimately challenge the structures on which they rest. This class provides an introduction to key methods and themes in critical theory. We’ll consider methodological questions such as the nature of critique and the relationship between theory and practice. We’ll consider thematic questions such as: the epoch defining effects of modern penal systems; the ways that colonialism causes lasting material and psychological harm; and the relationships between capitalism, ecological destruction, and racial and gender oppression. Finally, we’ll examine attendant political questions such as the possibility of resistance and the meaning of emancipation. Throughout the semester we’ll read important texts in twentieth and twenty-first century critical theory, with particular focus on major works by Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, andNancy Fraser.

Prerequisites: None.


“Explanation and Evaluation in Foucault’s Genealogy of Morality.” European Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming).

“Adorno, Marx, and abstract domination.” Philosophy & Social Criticism (forthcoming).

“Sovereignty, Genealogy, and the Critique of State Violence.” Constellations 29, no. 2 (2022): 214-228

“Foucault’s Analytics of Sovereignty.” Critical Horizons 22, no. 3 (2021): 287-305.

“On the Ways of Writing the History of the State.” Foucault Studies, no. 28 (2020): 71-95.

Location: J.R. Howard Hall