I am an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal where I teach philosophy and Jewish studies and hold a William Dawson Scholarship, McGill’s equivalent to a Junior Canada Research Chair. Since October 2013 I am also a professor at Oxford University where I teach philosophy and comparative religion and am a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall.
I work on various issues, spanning ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy (mainly Jewish and Islamic) and early modern philosophy (mainly Spinoza). I also have an interest in political philosophy, in particular in questions related to cultural difference, identity and autonomy. See the projects section for more information on my current research.
After growing up between Germany and Brazil, I did most of my undergraduate and graduate work at the Freie Universität Berlin and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, completing my PhD in 2000. I also spent one semester at the Universidade de São Paulo and one academic year at the Sorbonne in Paris. Although I got interested in various things along the way (from Brazilian literature to the Talmud), the red thread through my studies was philosophy.
I started teaching at McGill in 2000. In 2006 I spent a semester as a visiting professor at al-Quds University, the Palestinian University in Jerusalem where I co-taught a seminar with Sari Nusseibeh. In May 2007 I was a visiting professor at the State Islamic University in Makassar, the capital of Sulawesi in Indonesia, as part of a McGill-Indonesia academic exchange program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. The fall of 2007 I spent as a fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Madison-Wisconsin and the spring of 2008 as a visiting professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In 2009-10 I was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and an adjunct fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2010 I spent two months collaborating with colleagues at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Salvador (Brazil) and one month as a professeur invité at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2012-13 I was a Senior Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Humboldt University and a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, both in Berlin. This year–2013-14–I am teaching a graduate class for the international MA program Intellectual Encounters in the Medieval Islamicate World based at the Freie Universität Berlin that brings together Palestinian, Israeli, and international students.
While most of my work is scholarly in nature, I also occasionally write for a broader readership. Essays and book reviews have appeared, among others, in The New York Times, The Nation, Dissent, the Times Literary Supplement, Boston Review, The Jewish Review of Books, Die Zeit, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and Magazin Philosophie.
The LatestNew Book: Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza: Reason, Religion, and Autonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Cambridge University Press book page Download Preface-PDF
ContactCarlos F. Fraenkel
Departments of Philosophy and Jewish Studies
855 Sherbrooke Street West, Office 823
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7, Canada
Tel: +1-514-398-6267, Fax: +1-514-398-5158