Thomas Wheatland, Ph.D

Associate Professor of History

508-767-7562 Founders Hall - Room 108

Professor Wheatland is a specialist in modern European cultural and intellectual history with a focus on the history of Central Europe. In all of his courses, Professor Wheatland is focused on how our world became the way that it is and, thus, enabling students to take ownership of their thoughts and assumptions about the world. 

In addition to teaching general survey courses in European History (HIS 116 and HIS 117), Professor Wheatland teaches a pair of courses on European Diplomatic history built around four multi-day simulations that place students in the shoes of diplomats negotiating major international crises. He also teaches courses on Modern German History, Modern Austria (with a focus on Vienna), a survey of European cultural and intellectual history since 1870, and a thematic course on the concept of totalitarianism and its applicability to Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy. 

His proseminar and seminar revolve around his central area of expertise – the exiles who fled Nazi Germany and resettled in the United States. Students in Professor Wheatland’s research courses have written on a variety of individuals from the fields of architecture, visual art, cinema, literature, music, the natural and physical sciences, philosophy, history, political science, economics, sociology, psychology, and theology. 

Post-Baccalaureate Scholarship Advisor:

In addition to his role as a member of the Department of History, Professor Wheatland also serves as the Post-Baccalaureate Scholarship Advisor at Assumption University. In this role, Professor Wheatland advises and mentors Assumption students applying for the Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, Mitchell, Truman, Boren, and Fulbright Scholarships.


Professor Wheatland is an internationally recognized specialist in the area of German Exile Studies. His first book, The Frankfurt School in Exile, was the first study that looked at the history of the famous Institute for Social Research in relation to its U.S. colleagues, rivals, sponsors, and detractors. It has been reviewed extensively on both sides of the Atlantic and has been acknowledged as a “must-read book” for those interested in Critical Theory, Transatlantic Studies, and the history of the social sciences. His second book (co-authored with David Kettler, Bard College), Learning from Franz L. Neumann, is the definitive intellectual biography of its subject. Neumann was a lawyer, legal theorist, political scientist, and research analyst for the famed Office for Strategic Services. As such, he was an important contributor to the legal architecture of the Weimar Republic, an inventor of Critical Legal Studies, an influential analyst of Nazi Germany, a central legal advisor for the U.S. prosecution at the Nuremburg Trials, and an early pioneer of U.S. denazification efforts in Postwar Germany. Although his life was cut short in 1954, Neumann accomplished much in his career – including his masterpiece, Behemoth, which was the first definitive study of the political, legal, economic, and ideological underpinnings of the Third Reich. In addition to these two books, Professor Wheatland is regularly invited to international conferences and contributes articles and book reviews in the fields of Central European History, Modern European Intellectual History, German Exile Studies, Transatlantic Studies, the History of the Social Sciences, and Critical Theory. Currently, he is juggling two book projects. The first is a book aimed at general readers and advanced undergraduates in the social sciences, and it reintroduces the thought of the famous social psychologist, Erich Fromm. His second book project is an intellectual history of the concept of fear and how it has been explained and understood within the social sciences.

Degrees Earned

Ph.D., Boston College, History
MA, Boston College, History
BA, Brown University, Double Major in History and Psychology

Undergraduate Courses Taught

Modern Europe and the United States 1 (1200 – 1815)

Modern Europe and the United States 2 (1815 – present)

Western Civilization 1 (Antiquity – 1715)

Western Civilization 2 (1715 – present)

European History 1 (Antiquity – 1715)

European History 2 (1715 – present)

German History since 1870

Totalitarianism and Everyday Life

19th Century European Diplomatic History

20th Century European Diplomatic History

Rise and Decline of European Primacy, 1870 – present

Hitler’s Vienna

The Weimar Republic (Proseminar)

Hitler’s Exiles (Seminar)

Publications and Editorships

The Frankfurt School in Exile [paperback edition] (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, April 2023) Weblink:

Learning from Franz L. Neumann: Law, Theory, and the Brute Facts of Political Life, co-author David Kettler (London & New York: Anthem Press, 2019) Weblink:


The Frankfurt School in Exile (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, April 2009) Weblink:



Editorial Board, Berlin Journal of Critical Theory (2017-present) Weblink:

“Philosophical Flaschenposten: Critical Theory and the Transatlantic History of Postwar Philosophy,” American Philosophy and the Intellectual Migration: Pragmatism, Logical Empiricism, Phenomenology, Critical Theory, edited by Sander Verhaegh (Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming)

Review of Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times by Samuel Moyn for Choice Reviews, vol. 61, no. 5 (January 2024)

Review of Warping Time: How Contending Political Forces Manipulate the Past, Present and Future by Benjamin Ginsberg and Jennifer Bachner for Choice Reviews, vol. 61, no. 4 (December 2023)

Review of The Invention of Marxism: How an Idea Changed Everything by Christina Morina for Choice Reviews, vol. 61, no. 2 (October 2023)

Review of The Individualists: Radicals, Reactionaries, and the Struggle for the Soul of Libertarianism by Matt Zwolinski & John Tomasi for Choice Reviews, vol. 61, no. 1 (September 2023)

Review of Georg Lukács and Critical Theory: Aesthetics, History, Utopia by Tyrus Miller for Choice Reviews, vol. 60, no. 11 (July 2023)

Review of Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country by Ryan Thomas Skinner for Choice Reviews, vol. 60, no. 10 (June 2023)

Review of Anticolonial Eruptions: Racial Hubris and the Cunning of Resistance by Geo Maher for Choice Reviews, vol. 60, no. 6 (February 2023)

Review of Utopianism for a Dying Planet: Life after Consumerism by Gregory Claeys for Choice Reviews, vol. 60, no. 5 (January 2023)

Review of The Class Matrix: Social Theory after the Cultural Turn by Vivek Chibber for Choice Reviews, vol. 60, no. 3 (November 2022)

Review of Erich Fromm and Global Public Sociology by Neil McLaughlin for the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, vol. 58, no. 4 (Fall 2022)

Review of Between Containment and Rollback: The United States and the Cold War in Germany by Christian Ostermann for Choice Reviews, vol. 59, no. 12 (August 2022)

Review of Selected Writings on Marxism by Stuart Hall for Choice Reviews, vol. 59, no. 5 (January 2022)

Review of Restless Ideas: Contemporary Social Theory in an Anxious Age by Tony Simmons for Choice Reviews, vol. 59, no. 2 (October 2021)

Review of Employing Nietzsche’s Sociological Imagination by Jack Fong for Choice Reviews, vol. 58, no. 12 (August 2021)

Review of The Invention of the Self: Personal Identity in the Age of Art by Andrew Spira for Choice Reviews, vol. 58, no. 10 (June 2021)

“Denazification & Post-War German Philosophy: The Marcuse/Heidegger Correspondence,” The End of Exile: First Letters to and from Thomas Mann, Hannah Arendt, and Others, edited by David Kettler and Detlef Garz (New York: Anthem Press, 2021)

Review of A Companion to Antonio Gramsci: Essays on History and Theories of History, Politics and Historiography edited by Davide Cadeddu for Choice Reviews, vol. 58, no. 5 (January 2021)

Review of Power in Modernity: Agency Relations and the Creative Destruction of the King’s Two Bodies by Isaac Arial Reed for Choice Reviews, vol. 58, no. 4 (December 2020)

Review of Theodor Adorno and the Century of Negative Identity by Eric Oberle for The American Historical Review, vol. 125, no. 5 (December 2020)

Review of A Time for Critique edited by Didier Fassin & Bernard Harcourt for Choice Reviews, vol. 57, no. 9 (May 2020)

Review of Jewish Exiles and European Thought in the Shadow of the Third Reich: Baron, Popper, Strauss, Auerbach by David Weinstein and Avihu Zakai for Central European History (March 2020)

Review of Born After: Reckoning with the German Past by Angelika Bammer for Choice Reviews, vol. 57, no. 3 (November 2019)

Review of Habermas: A Biography by Stefan Müller-Doohm for The American Historical Review, vol. 123, no. 5 (December 2018)

“The Experience of Exile,” The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School, edited by Axel Honneth, Peter Gordon, and Espen Hammer (New York: Routledge, 2018)

“Critical Theory: The Los Angeles Years,” Berlin Journal of Critical Theory, vol. 1, no. 2 (December 2017)

Review of Arendt and America by Richard King for Society, vol. 54, no. 2 (April 2017)

Review of The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Dimensions of the Cold War by Udi Greenbergfor The American Historical Review, vol. 121, no. 5 (December 2016)

Roundtable review of The Frankfurt School, Jewish Lives, and Antisemitism, by Jack Jacobs for German Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 1 (January 2016)

“Franz L. Neumann: Negotiating Political Exile,” in “More Atlantic Crossings?: The Postwar Atlantic Community,” German Historical Institute Bulletin Supplement, edited by Jan Logemann and Mary Nolan (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014)

“’Has Germany a Political Theory? Is Germany a State?’ The Foreign Affairs of Nations in the Political Thought of Franz L. Neumann” (co-written with David Kettler), Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of International Relations: A European Discipline in America?, edited by Felix Rösch (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

“How Can We Tell It to the Children? A Deliberation at the Institute for Social Research, 1941” (co-written with David Kettler), Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, no. 111 (August 2012)

“Debate about Methods in the Social Sciences, Especially the Conception of Social Science Method for Which the Institute Stands” (trans. with David Kettler), Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, no. 111 (August 2012)

Review of Heidegger in America, by Martin Woessner for The American Historical Review, vol. 117, no. 3 (June 2012), 879

Review of Habermas: An Intellectual Biography, by Matthew G. Specter for Central European History, vol. 45, no. 1 (March 2012), 169-172

“Marcuse schreibt an Heidegger: Welcher Kontext sollte eine Interpretation formen?” in Erste Briefe: First Letters aus dem Exil, 1945-1950, edited by David Kettler and Detlef Garz (München: Text & Kritik, 2012)

“An Adorno Renaissance? Critical Theory and George W. Bush’s America,” review of Things Beyond Resemblance: Collected Essays on Theodor W. Adorno, by Robert Hullot-Kentor, H-German (July 2007)

“In den Armen der Alma Mater: Die Frankfurter Schule an der Columbia Universität,” in Veränderte Weltbilder: Hannoversche Schriften, Band 6, edited by Detlev Claussen, Oskar Negt, and Michael Werz (Frankfurt-am-Main: Neue Kritik, 2005)

“Not-Such-Odd Couples: Paul Lazarsfeld, the Horkheimer Circle, and Columbia University,” in Exile, Science, and Bildung:The Contested Legacies of German Émigré Intellectuals, edited by David Kettler and Gerhard Lauer (New York: Palgrave, 2005)

“Critical Theory on Morningside Heights: From Frankfurt Mandarins to Columbia Sociologists,” German Politics and Society, Volume 22, no. 4 (Winter 2004)

“Critical Theory on Morningside Heights: The Frankfurt School’s Invitation from Columbia University,” German Politics and Society, Volume 22, no. 3 (Fall 2004)

“Contested Legacies: Political Theory and the Hitler Era” (co-written with David Kettler), in the European Journal of Political Theory, special edition edited by David Kettler and Thomas Wheatland (April 2004)