Faculty

Department Chair: Massimiliano Tomba

Graduate Program Director: Banu Bargu

Massimiliano Tomba
  • Title
    • Chair and Professor, History of Consciousness
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History of Consciousness Department
  • Affiliations Politics Department
  • Phone
    831-502-7059
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, Office # 436
    • 1156 High Street 415 Humanities One Santa Cruz, CA 95064
    • Office #436
  • Office Hours Fall: Wednesday 9.30-10.30 (or by appointment)
  • Mail Stop History Of Consciousness

Summary of Expertise

Massimiliano Tomba's work focuses on time and temporalities, Marxism, critical theory (especially the first generation of the Frankfurt School), and modern and contemporary political thought. He has written on Hegel, Kant, Marx, Walter Benjamin, the French Revolution, fascism and historical revisionism, Italian workerism, new social movements, and the impact of the last financial crisis on democracies in Europe and the United States, among others. His works have been translated into Chinese, French, English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Research Interests

Massimiliano Tomba's research concerns the histories and legacies of universalism, human rights, revolutions, and the modern state. In his last book, he makes a case for an alternative tradition of “insurgent universality” that challenges the dominant conception of universalism in several ways. “Insurgent universality” constitutes an alternative legacy of modernity and holds together political experiments which allow us to think of different pathways of modernization, which bridge Western and non-Western juridical, political and economical conceptions.

Biography, Education and Training

Massimiliano Tomba (Ph.D. in Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa) taught Political Philosophy at the University of Padova (Italy). He specialized in German classical philosophy during his stay in Germany (University of Würzburg, Münich, and Hamburg). Since 2012, he has been acting as co-director of an international project whose aim is to rethink the predominant schemes of interpretation of global society to overcome the prevailing Eurocentrism in conceptions of universalism, space, and time. Among his publications is Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer. Kategorien des Politischen im nachhegelschen Denken, Peter Lang, 2005; La vera politica. Kant e Benjamin: la possibilità della giustizia, Quodlibet, 2006; Marx’s Temporalities, Brill, 2013; Attraverso la piccolo porta. Quattro studi su Walter Benjamin, Mimesis, 2017: Insurgent Universality. An Alternative Legacy of Modernity, New York, Oxford University Press, 2019, Co-winner of the 2021 David and Elaine Spitz Prize for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory published in 2019.

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • Fellow, Shelby Cullom Davis Center Department of History, Princeton University, Fall-Summer 2020-2021
  • Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Science), Princeton, New Jersey, 2016-2017.
  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow (Advanced Research Collaborative), The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY), New York, 2014-2015
  • Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, New York, 2012
  • DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Fellowship, University of Hamburg, 2004
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Padova, 2000-2001.
  • MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research) Fellowship for PhD Research 1996-1999
  • Fellowship, Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies, Naples [Istituto Italiano per gli Studi filosofici di Napoli], 1995, 1993
  • Graduate Fellowship, University of Padua, for study at the University of Munich, 1994-1995

Selected Publications

Books

--Insurgent Universality. An Alternative Legacy of Modernity, New York, Oxford University Press, 2019, 304 pp.

Co-winner of the 2021 David and Elaine Spitz Prize for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory published in 2019

 

--Attraverso la piccola porta. Quattro studi su Walter Benjamin. Milano, Mimesis, 2017, 114 pp.

 

--Marx’s Temporalities, trans. Sara Farris and Peter Thomas, Leiden, Brill, 2013, 206 pp. (2nd Edition: Chicago, Haymarket Books, 2013)

Shortlisted for the 2013 The Deutscher Memorial Prize

 

--Strati di tempo. Karl Marx materialista storico. Milano, Jaca Books, 2010, 290 pp.

 

--La vera politica. Kant e Benjamin: la possibilità della giustizia, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2006, 280 pp.

 

--Crisi e critica in Bruno Bauer. Il principio di esclusione come fondamento del politico, Napoli, Bibliopolis, 2002

            Translated into German: Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer. Kategorien des Politischen im nachhegelschen                      Denken, trans. L. Schröder, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 2005, 235 pp.