George S. Williamson

Associate Professor of History

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George Williamson was educated at Brown University, where he received an A.B. in Religious Studies in 1987, and Yale University, where he received a Ph.D. in History in 1996. A specialist in modern German cultural and intellectual history, he is the author of The Longing for Myth: Religion and Aesthetic Culture from Romanticism to Nietzsche (University of Chicago Press, 2004). He is also the author of "What Killed August von Kotzebue? The Temptations of Virtue and the Political Theology of German Nationalism, 1789-1819," Journal of Modern History (2000), which won the prize for best article in 1999-2000 from the A.H.A.'s Conference Group for Central European History. Recent publications include "Protestants, Catholics, and Jews: Enlightenment, Emancipation, New Forms of Piety, 1760-1870," in Helmut Walser Smith, ed, The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford UP, 2011); "'In the Arms of Gods': Schelling, Hegel, and the Problem of Mythology," in Nicholas Boyle, Liz Disley, and Nicholas Adams, eds., The Impact of Idealism: The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought (Cambridge UP, 2013); and "'Thought Is In Itself a Dangerous Operation': The Campaign Against 'Revolutionary Machinations' in Germany, 1819-1828," in German Studies Review 38:2 (2015). His current book project is a study of the role of the playwright August von Kotzebue (1761-1819) in German cultural and political life during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is also working on a short study of Arthur Drews's The Christ Myth (1909) and the controversy sparked by its publication. 

Before arriving at Florida State in 2010, Williamson taught for thirteen years at the University of Alabama. At F.S.U., he teaches courses on nineteenth-century Germany, European cultural and intellectual history, the history of terrorism, and historical theory and methodology.