Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Professor of History
On Leave 2022-2023
M.A. University of Minnesota (1975)
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, History (1983)
Graduate Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute (1984)
HIST 301 SEMApproaching the Past: Varieties of Historical Thinking (not offered 2023/24)
HIST 327 SEMA History of the German Democratic Republic (not offered 2023/24)
HIST 335 SEMWeimar Germany (not offered 2023/24)
Thomas A. Kohut received a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota. He is also a graduate of the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. He is currently Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Professor of History at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is a member of the Council of Scholars at the Erikson Institute at Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He is also the president of the Freud Foundation, US. From 2000 to 2006, Kohut served as Dean of the Faculty at Williams College. Kohut has written three books: Empathy and the Historical Understanding of the Human Past (New York: Routledge, 2020); A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press; 2012); Wilhelm II and the Germans: A Study in Leadership (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991). He has also published articles on a number of historical and psychological topics: including the German humorist, Wilhelm Busch; letters from German soldiers at Stalingrad; and psychohistory, history, and psychoanalysis.
Empathy and the Historical Understanding of the Human Past (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2020).
“History Flows through Us: Psychoanalysis, Historical Trauma, and the Shaping of Experience,” Psychoanalysis, Self and Context 15 (2020), pp. 21-24, DOI: 10.1080/24720038.2019.1688330.
History Flows through Us: Germany, the Holocaust, and the Importance of Empathy, Roger Frie, ed. (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2018). This is a collection of eleven essays that respond to my work. The volume concludes with an interview with me conducted by Roger Frie, “Psychoanalysis and history at the crossroads: A dialogue with Thomas Kohut,” pp. 157-87.
Eine deutsche Generation und ihre Suche nach Gemeinschaft: Erlebte Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Giessen: Psychosozial Verlag, 2017). This is a translated and significantly revised version of A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century.
A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century (New Haven and London: Yale University Press; 2012).
“Psychoanalysis as Psychohistory or Why Psychotherapists Cannot Afford to Ignore Culture,” Annual of Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalysis and History, Jerome A. Winer and James William Anderson, eds., 31 (2003), pp. 225-36.
“History, Loss, and the Generation of 1914: The Case of the Freideutsche Kreis,” Generationalität und Lebensgeschichte im 20. Jahrhundert: Schriften des Historischen Kollegs, Kolloquien 58, Jürgen Reulecke, ed. (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag; 2003), pp. 253-77.
“The Creation of Wilhelm Busch as a German Cultural Hero, 1902 -1908,” Enlightenment, Passion, Modernity: Historical Essays in European Thought and Culture, Mark S. Micale and Robert L. Dietle, eds. (Stanford: Stanford University Press; 2000), pp. 286-304.
With Jürgen Reulecke, “‘Sterben wie eine Ratte, die der Bauer ertappt’. Letzte Briefe aus Stalingrad,” Stalingrad: Ereignis, Wirkung, Symbol, Jürgen Förster, ed. (Munich and Zurich: Piper Verlag, 1992), pp. 456-71.
Wilhelm II and the Germans: A Study in Leadership (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1991).
“Psychohistory as History,” The American Historical Review 91 (1986), pp. 336-354.
“Mirror Image of the Nation: An Investigation of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Leadership of the Germans,” The Leader: Psychohistorical Essays, Charles B. Strozier and Daniel Offer, eds. (New York: Plenum Press; 1985), pp. 179- 229.
“Kaiser Wilhelm and his Parents: An Inquiry into the Psychological Roots of German Policy Towards England Before the First World War,” Kaiser Wilhelm II: New Interpretations, John C. G. Rohl and Nicolaus Sombart, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1982), pp. 63-89.
Empathy and Historical Understanding delivered on March 30, 2022 at the College of the Holy Cross
New Books in History Interview with Anna Fishzon, A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century
Modern German history; European cultural and intellectual history; the psychological dimension of the past.
Zeynep Sude Akgundogdu ’22 – Soldiers of the Wisdom Army: Turkish National Education Policies in the Early Years of Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Thomas Riley ’18 – “Not As Easy As ‘Gossip’”: The Journal Science-Gossip and the Community It Fostered
Sophie Wunderlich ’18 – “We See Into the Distant Future, Because We Know What It Will Be”: Destiny, Utopia, and Apocalypse in National Socialism
Peter Hale ’17 – “Hermaphroditic Children”: Education Policy During the Option of South Tyrol
Isabel Greer ’14 – The Art of Survival
Joon Hun Seong ’14 – Lives of Their Own: A Social History of the German Democratic Republic Examined Through Die Kinder von Golzow
Evelyn Denham ’12 – Permanent Neighbors, Exceptional Friends: The Ottoman Embassy to Vienna in 1748
Carrie Greene ’02 – The Cholera Travesty at Tooting
Peter Lockwood Adams ’00 – A Beautiful and Distant Fight: Analyzing the Agenda of Nazi Wartime Newsreels
Robert Wiygul ’00 – Sophisticated Nazi: Carl Schmitt and Political Illiberalism
Joseph Bourassa ’99 – Visions of Order, Visions of Transformation: Ruge, Hegel and the Search for the German Republic
Alexandra Garbarini ’94 – Historical Representation of the Holocaust: An Essay
Ticien Carlson (Sassoubre) ’94 – “The Sovereign Self”: Esalen and the Human Potential Movement
Andrew Baird ’93 – Projections: The Relevance of Hayden White to Historical Understanding
Allison Marston ’93 – The Crystal Ball and the Compass: The Use of History in Nineteenth-Century France
Robert E. Phay ’90 – Sexuality Constrained: Civilizing Children in Victorian Childrearing Manuals
Daniel Powers ’90 – Rethinking France’s Europe, 1947-1957
Elizabeth McKown ’89 – A ‘World Beneath the Threshold’: Anglo-German Conflict in Popular Literature Before World War I
Peter Ira Haupt ’87 – A Universe of Lies: Holocaust Revision and the Myth of a Jewish World Conspiracy
Michael Mellis ’87 – Hoisting the German Flag over the Bosphorus: The Creation of the German-Turkish Alliance of 1914
Larry Krasnoff ’85 – Ideology of a Student Revolt: French Thought and the Events of May 1968
Todd Tibbetts ’85 – Truth, History, and the Human Sciences in Gadamer and Foucault