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Dr Martin Alexander Ruehl

Dr Martin Alexander Ruehl

Lecturer in German Thought at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

Office Phone: 01223-764446


Martin Ruehl took his BA from Cambridge and his PhD from Princeton. After a research fellowship at Queens’ College, he joined Sidney Sussex as College Lecturer and Director of Studies in History. Since 2007, he has been University Lecturer in the German Department and Director of Studies in MML at Trinity Hall. He continues to teach for the History Faculty at the undergraduate as well as graduate level and is an active member of the teaching staff for the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History.

Subject groups/Research projects

Political Thought And Intellectual History:

Research Interests

Dr Ruehl specializes in the intellectual history of modern Germany. His research to date has focussed on the ideas and ideologies that shaped German society and culture in the Wilhelmine and Weimar period, in particular the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and its reception since the 1890s. He has published books and articles on Nietzsche, Burckhardt, Thomas Mann, Ernst Kantorowicz, German Geschichtsphilosophie and philhellenism. His essay on aesthetic fundamentalism in the writings of the George Circle will appear in the collective volume Weimar Thought: A Critical History, ed. Peter Gordon (Princeton University Press, 2012). His monograph The Making of Modernity: Renaissance Italy and the German Historical Imagiation, 1860-1930 will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.


Dr Ruehl has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of political thought, with particular emphasis on Romanticism, Nietzsche and Nietzscheanism, the Conservative Revolution and fascist ideology. In addition to this, he has supervised and lectured on various aspects of modern historiography, including Ranke and the Prussian School, Historismus, Marx and historical materialism, as well as postmodernism. For the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History, he regularly supervises dissertations and essays on topics in modern German philosophy and theory, from Schopenhauer to the Frankfurt School. His PhD students work on Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Bachofen’s Mutterrecht, the idea of Europe in the Weimar Republic and German philosophers under Nazism.

Key Publications

  • A Poet’s Reich: Politics and Culture in the George Circle, Rochester: Camden House 2011 (ed. with M. Lane)
  • Quentin Skinner:Visionen des Politischen, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp 2009 (ed. with M. Heinz)
  • Hitler – Films from Germany: History, Cinema, and Politics since 1945, London: Palgrave 2012 (ed. with K. Machtans; forthcoming)
  • The Making of Modernity: Renaissance Italy and the German Historical Imagination, Cambridge: CUP 2012 (forthcoming)
  • Out of Arcadia: Classics and Politics in Germany in the Age of Burckhardt, Nietzsche and Wilamowitz, London: Institute of Classical Studies 2003 (ed. with I. Gildenhard)
  • 'Das Allgemeine und sein Bild: Zur Geschichtsphilosophie Jacob Burckhardts', Historische Zeitschrift 292, 2 (2012, forthcoming)
  • 'Aesthetic Fundamentalism in Weimar Poetry: Stefan George and his Circle', in: P. Gordon (ed.), Weimar Thought: A Critical History, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2012, forthcoming)
  • ‘Nietzsches Götzendämmerung’, Nietzscheforschung: Jahrbuch der Nietzsche-Gesellschaft 16 (2009), pp. 1-13 (with A.U. Sommer)
  • ‘A Master from Germany: Thomas Mann, Albrecht Dürer and the Making of a National Icon’, Oxford German Studies 38, 1 (2009), pp. 63-108
  • ‘“An Uncanny Re-Awakening”: Nietzsche’s Renascence of the Renaissance out of the Spirit of Jacob Burckhardt’, in: M. Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on Time and History, Berlin and New York: De Gruyter 2008, pp. 227-267
  • ‘Kentaurenkämpfe: Jacob Burckhardt und das Allgemeine’, in: M. Hagner and M. Laubichler (eds), Der Hochsitz des Wissens: Das Allgemeine als wissenschaftlicher Wert, Zurich and Munich: Diaphanes Verlag 2006, pp. 23-72
  • Politeia 1871: Young Nietzsche on the Greek State’, in: P. Bishop (ed.), Nietzsche and Antiquity: His Reaction and Response to the Classical Tradition, Rochester: Camden House 2004, pp. 79-97
  • ‘Death in Florence: Thomas Mann and the Ideologies of Renaissancismus at the Fin de Siècle’, in: S. Marchand and D. Lindenfeld (eds), Germany at the Fin de Siècle: Culture, Politics and Ideas, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press 2004, pp. 186-227
  • ‘Nietzsche und Basel’, Nietzsche-Studien 30 (2001), pp. 498-508
  • ‘In This Time Without Emperors: The Politics of Ernst Kantorowicz’s Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite Reconsidered’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 63 (2000), pp. 187-242