Matthew Handelman
(517) 355-5184

B-263 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyLinguistics, Languages, and CulturesJewish Studies

Associate Professor
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies


Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania

Matthew Handelman is an Associate Professor of German and a member of the Core Faculty in the Digital Humanities at MSU. His research interests include German-Jewish literature and philosophy in the early twentieth century, the intersections of science, mathematics and culture in German-speaking countries, as well as the digital humanities and the history of technology. His first book, The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origin and Promise of Critical Theory appeared with Fordham University Press in 2019. It explores the underdeveloped possibilities of mathematics for critical theory, focusing on how mathematics helped Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracauer navigate the intellectual crises facing German Jews during the Weimar Republic. A second book project, which explores the synthesis of the digital and the humanities through the philosophical question of judgment, is also in the works. Matthew has published on these topics, as well as others, in international journals such as The Germanic ReviewScientia Poetica and The Leo Baeck Yearbook.

Much of Matthew’s research and teaching explores the relationship among critical theory, mathematical thinking, and the digital humanities. Along with MSU grads and undergrads, he has investigated these interests in MSU’s Seminar in the Digital Humanities and through semester-long digitization projects, including “‘The Poor Sinners Pamphlets‘” and “Critical Comics.” He has published on the intersection of translation theory and DH in the online journal TRANSIT. He also brings these interests to various digital projects, including the Graphic Narratives Network (underway at Michigan State University) and an ongoing project to design an online collaborative annotation platform for Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption. 

University News

100-Year Anniversary of Bauhaus Celebrated at MSU
Published October 22, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
two men sitting on the ground who are holding giant white plastic wrap and strings
The College of Arts & Letters and Residential College in the Arts and Humanities came together last week to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Bauhaus, a famous art school…Read now »
First Recipients of TOME Award Announced
Published January 10, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
photo of an orange brick building with a clock tower in front of a cloudy sky and green trees
The first three recipients of the TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) Award have been selected to receive funding to support an open-access digital publication of a book they…Read now »
$100,000 Gift Fosters Creativity and Learning for Students
Published May 12, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
man presenting in front of projection
Peter Stougaard, former Hollywood studio executive May 12, 2015 – As part of the MSU Empower Extraordinary campaign, the College of Arts & Letters (CAL) at Michigan State…Read now »