David Kishik

David Kishik

David Kishik is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Emerson College in Boston and the author of Wittgenstein’s Form of Life (Continuum, 2008), The Power of Life: Agamben and the Coming Politics (2011), as well as The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City (2015).

The Manhattan Project presents a dizzyingly counterfactual history: Walter Benjamin fakes his death and leaves Paris for New York under the pseudonym Carl Roseman (a la Karl Rossman). This book reimagines Benjamin’s insightful lens on both cities as it applies to 20th century New York as the successor of France’s capital.

Early Life and Education

David Kishik, originally from Germany, has an extensive expertise in urban philosophy. He has authored two books on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Giorgio Agamben as well as numerous essays and translations.

He is currently an associate professor of philosophy at Emerson College and also teaches at the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts.

He holds a master’s degree in urban theory from Columbia University and has published numerous articles in academic journals and literary reviews.

His most recent book, The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City (Stanford, 2015), imagines what Walter Benjamin would have written about New York had he been successful in his escape from Nazi-ruled Europe. In this ambitious scholarly undertaking, Kishik applies the same broad analytical lens that Benjamin used for Paris to 20th-century New York.

Professional Career

David Kishik is an Emerson College graduate with a doctorate in literature and extensive experience as a translator of Italian texts. Over the past few years, his impressive list of publications has grown steadily, while his insightful and well-crafted reviews make for excellent reading material. Most notably, David is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet – recipient of both the MacArthur award, New York Times Book Award and fellowship at ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry; most recently he earned tenure at Emerson College!

Achievements and Honors

David Kishik is an associate professor of philosophy at Emerson College. He is the author of several books, such as To Imagine a Form of Life (translated from Wittgenstein’s Italian), The Power of Life: Agamben and Emerging Politics, The Manhattan Project: Theory of a City, and The Book of Shem: On Genesis Before Abraham. He has earned the Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching and Hurst Award for Faculty Excellence. Additionally, he served as a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin and translated two of Giorgio Agamben’s essay collections – Nudities and What Is an Apparatus? Additionally, Netta Yerushalmy featured him in her dance lectures entitled Paramodernities; in Lapham’s Quarterly, The New York Times, and 3:AM Magazine his work has been recognized internationally.

Personal Life

Kishik has earned a wide array of accomplishments, including being a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin and author of two books – The Manhattan Project: A Theory of City (Stanford University Press, 2015) and The Book of Shem: On Genesis before Abraham (Stanford University Press, 2018). When not reading avidly, he also teaches courses across disciplines from anthropology to sociology. He holds numerous accolades including a Miller award for outstanding teaching and Huret Award recognition for faculty excellence.

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