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Jan-Paul Sandmann

Graduate Student Affiliate


Jan-Paul Sandmann

Jan-Paul Sandmann is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University, specializing in political theory. Inspired by the writings of Thomas Mann, Theodor Adorno, and Susan Sontag, he is interested in how cultural criticism expresses visions of a more humane and vibrant social world. His dissertation project, tentatively titled Crisis of Creativity: A Return to the Promise of Culture, offers an intellectual history of the three thinkers' shared aspiration to elevate culture to the heart of people's lives. Drawing upon this history, he provides his own account of art's potential at a time when the promise of culture appears to have lost much of its appeal or relevance.

At Harvard, Jan-Paul has assisted in teaching a course on the German philosophical tradition from Nietzsche to Habermas, as well as undergraduate and graduate-level classes in moral and political philosophy. He holds a B.Sc. in Government and Economics and an M.Sc. in Philosophy of the Social Sciences, both from the London School of Economics. During the course of his studies, he has received scholarships from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the Theodor H Ashford Graduate Fellowship, and the Society of Friends of Bayreuth.


  • Ph.D. Student in Government, Harvard University
  • Graduate Student Affiliate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Areas of Expertise

Art and Politics

History of Aesthetics

Thomas Mann

Frankfurt School Critical Theory

19th Century Music