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Michael A. Gillespie, Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy and Germanic Languages and Lit and Director, Gerst Program in Political Economy

Michael A. Gillespie
Contact Info: 
Office Location:  308 Perkins Library
Office Phone:  +1 919 660 4308
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2023):

  • HOUSECS 59.11, HOUSE COURSE (SP TOP) Synopsis
    Crowell Qu G114, Tu 07:30 PM-08:45 PM
    Gross Hall 105, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    (also cross-listed as PHIL 123FS.01)
    FreemanCtr 002, Th 06:00 PM-07:30 PM
  • POLSCI 890-1.03, POLITICAL THEORY Synopsis
    LSRC A156, Tu 01:40 PM-04:10 PM

Ph.D.The University of Chicago1981
Research fellowRuhr Universität-Hegel Archives, Bochum, Germany1976
A.B. magna cum laudeHarvard University1973

Political Philosophy
Political Theory
Political Institutions
Research Interests: 18th and 19th Century, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, late medieval philosophy and theology, humanism

Current projects: He is completing a book on the genesis of modernity that begins with a discussion of the nominalist realist debate. It contains chapers on Petrarch, Humanism, Luther, the Luther-Erasmus debate, Descartes, Hobbes, and the Hobbes-Descartes debate.

Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, works in political philosophy, with particular emphasis on modern continental theory and the history of political philosophy. He is the author of Hegel, Heidegger and the Ground of History, and Nihilism before Nietzsche. He is also co-editor of Nietzsche's New Seas: Explorations in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics, and Ratifying the Constitution. He has published articles on Montaigne, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and various topics in American political thought, as well as on the relation of religion and politics. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Templeton Foundation, the Liberty Fund, and the Earhart Foundation. He is the Director of the Gerst Program in Political, Economic, and Humanistic Studies. He was a fellow at the National Humanities Center.

Areas of Interest:

Theology and Politics


Europe • Germany • France • Existentialism • Phenomenology • Humanism • Nietzsche • Heidegger • Hegel • Descartes • Theology and Politics


Director of the Gerst Program in Political, Economic, and Humanistic Studies
Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Jonathan Schwarz  
  • Matthew Cole  
  • Aaron Roberts  
  • Darren Beattie  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Nora Hanagan (August 2012-June 2016)  
  • James Patterson (Aug. 2012-June 2013)  
  • Alex Schulman (August 2011-June 2013)  
  • Nicolaus Troester (Aug. 2011-June 2012)  
  • Randall Hendrickson (Aug. 2010- June 2012)  
  • Michael Faber (2009-2011)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Gillespie, M, “The Knots of Experience,”, in Experience – Implikationen für Mensch, Gesellschaft und Politik. Festschrift für Wolfgang Leidhold, (2021), Königshausen & Neumann
  2. Folch, C, Debt, in HYDROPOLITICS: THE ITAIPU DAM, SOVEREIGNTY, AND THE ENGINEERING OF MODERN SOUTH AMERICA (2019), pp. 128-156, Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-69-118659-7
  3. Allen Gillespie, M, On Debt and Redemption: Friedrich Nietzsche's Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 46 no. 2 (June, 2018), pp. 267-287, WILEY [doi]  [abs]
  4. Gillespie, MA, Radical Hopes: Apocalyptic Longing in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy, Apocalyptic Complex (2018), pp. 181-201
  5. Gillespie, MA, Beyond the Island of Truth: Hegel and the Shipwreck of Science, in MASTERY OF NATURE: PROMISES AND PROSPECTS (2018), pp. 171-182, ISBN 978-0-8122-4993-4