Associate Professor of German
Ph.D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
B-263 Wells Hall
Matthew Handelman is an Associate Professor of German and a member of the Core Faculty in the Digital Humanities at MSU. His research interests include German-Jewish literature and philosophy in the early twentieth century, the intersections of science, mathematics and culture in German-speaking countries, as well as the digital humanities and the history of technology. His first book, The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory appeared with Fordham University Press in 2019. It explores the underdeveloped possibilities of mathematics for critical theory, focusing on how mathematics helped Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracauer navigate the intellectual crises facing German Jews during the Weimar Republic. A second book project, which explores the synthesis of the digital and the humanities through the philosophical question of judgment, is also in the works. Matthew has published on these topics, as well as others, in international journals such as The Germanic Review, Scientia Poetica and The Leo Baeck Yearbook.
Much of Matthew's research and teaching explores the relationship among critical theory, mathematical thinking, and the digital humanities. Along with MSU grads and undergrads, he has investigated these interests in MSU's Seminar in the Digital Humanities and through semester-long digitization projects, including "'The Poor Sinners Pamphlets'" and "Critical Comics." He has published on the intersection of translation theory and DH in the online journal TRANSIT. He also brings these interests to various digital projects, including the Graphic Narratives Network (underway at Michigan State University) and an ongoing project to design an online collaborative annotation platform for Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption.