Gregory Jones-Katz is an American intellectual and cultural historian. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. From April to October 2022, Greg joined the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI) as an International Fellow. He works in the fields of American intellectual and cultural history, the history of higher education, and the global history of the humanities. Greg’s first book Deconstruction: An American Institution is now available with the University of Chicago Press (https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo27599454.html )
Greg’s second book project, The Empire of Theory and the Triumph of Neoliberalism 1965-2008, will be a comprehensive history of American Theory, showing the reasons for this body of work’s domestic production and its wider influence in the United States from the 1960s to the 2000s. The project will also explain American Theory’s reception and distribution in Europe and China. By investigating the texts, curricula, institutes, journals, lectures, study groups, and symposia invested in “theory” during the last three decades of the twentieth century, this new work aims to illuminate how uses of “theory” and its cultural politics transformed the humanities and social sciences, influencing not only higher education and intellectual life, but cultural and political conversations beyond university walls.
Greg is also working on a “Chinalogue” in which he reflects on his intellectual life in China as an American academic. Examining his own cultural disorientation, Greg contemplates his refracted view of America through the lens of his experiences in China. He considers topics including history, technology, education, and simulacra. Selections from this project have appeared in Merkur and Schweizer Monat; another piece is forthcoming in Raritan.