Martin Hägglund

Martin Hägglund's picture
Professor of Comparative Literature and of Humanities
451 College St, New Haven, CT 06511-8906
+1 (203) 432-4753


Born and raised in Sweden, Martin Hägglund specializes in continental philosophy, critical theory, and modernist literature—ranging across French, German, English, and Scandinavian languages. Professor Hägglund is the author of four highly acclaimed books, which engage with philosophers of time (from Kant to Derrida), theorists of desire (from Augustine to Lacan), modern writers (Proust, Woolf, Nabokov), and the legacy of German idealism (from Hegel to Marx and beyond).

His work is the subject of a special issue of CR: The New Centennial ReviewLiving On: Of Martin Hägglundand a special issue of The Philosopher, the longest-running public philosophy journal in the UK. His books have also been the subject of conferences and colloquia at Harvard, Yale, NYU, Cornell, and Oxford. He has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He was elected to the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2009, awarded The Schück Prize by the Swedish Academy in 2014, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018.

His most recent book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, won the René Wellek Prize.


B.A. Stockholm University, 2001.
M.A. SUNY Buffalo, 2005.
Ph.D. Cornell University, 2011.

Research Interests

Modernism; Continental Philosophy; German Idealism; Marx & Critical Theory; Poetry & Poetics; Literary Theory; Psychoanalysis; 19th and 20th century Anglophone, French, German, and Scandinavian Literatures.

Publication Highlights

This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, Pantheon Books:  2019. [Amazon]

Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov. Harvard University Press, 2012. [Amazon]

Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life. Stanford Univeristy Press, 2008. [Amazon]

“Natural and Spiritual Freedom” [PDF] ,The Yale Review, 2019

“Knausgaard’s Secular Confession,” b2o August 2017, also forthcoming in boundary 2.

“Beauty That Must Die: A Response to Michael Clune.” CR: The New Centennial Review, 15.3 (Winter 2015): 101-107. [PDF]

Working Languages: