Mitchell Cohen

Phone: (646) 312-4419
Location: VC 5-279


Professor Mitchell Cohen specializes in 19th and 20th century political theory and contemporary European and Middle Eastern politics, and teaches courses on political thought, American Government, comparative government, and politics and literature.

Professor Cohen won the prestigious 2010-11 Writing Fellowship of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center and was CUNY Writing Fellow.  In recent years he has lectured at Stanford, University of Wisconsin (Madison) and he also gave the Gold Endowment Distinguished Lecture on "Anti-Semitism" at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

He has also been National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a visiting professor at Stanford, and has guest lectured at numerous European universities and intellectual institutions, including in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.  He has been named Editor Emeritus of Dissent, one of the country’s most prestigious political journals.  He co-edited it for 18 years and continues to serve on its editorial board. In 1989, he travelled to Eastern Europe to cover the collapse of communism for its pages.  In 2014 he was a principle panelist the international conference in Bratislava on the anniversary of the 1989 revolutions.  Professor Cohen is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Professor Cohen is the author of The Wager of Lucien Goldmann (1994), a study of a prominent French political thinker, and Zion and State (1987; French translation, 1990; new French edition with new “Afterword,” 2014), which won Baruch College's Presidential Scholarship Achievement Award.  He has also edited Princeton Readings in Political Thought (1995) and Rebels and Reactionaries: An Anthology of Great Political Stories (1992).  In addition to American scholarly journals, he has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement (London), Musik und Asthetik, Les Temps Modernes (Paris), Reset (Rome), MicroMega (Rome), Aesthetik and Kommunikation (Berlin), Etcetera (Mexico City), Nexus (the Netherlands), and Davar (Tel Aviv).  He is former "American Correspondent" of Raisons Politiques (Paris Institute of Politics) and is a member of the editorial board of Jewish Social Studies.  Professor Cohen, a native New Yorker, lives in Manhattan.


American Government (POL 1101)
Contemporary Political Ideologies (POL 3337)
Early Political Thought (POL 3335)
Modern Political Thought (POL 3336)
Topics in Politics and Literature (POL 3201)

 Selected Publications


The Politics of Opera: A History from Monteverdi to Mozart (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017)

See his interview for Baruch students on his book here

Princeton Reading in Political Thought (as co-editor) (Princeton University Press, 1996).

The Wager of Lucien Goldmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).

Zion and State  (Columbia University Press, 1992 [First edition: Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987; French trans. Paris: Editions la Devouverte, 1990]).

Rebels and Reactionaries: An Anthology of Political Short Stories from Hawthorne through Today, Edited with an introduction by Mitchell Cohen (New York: Dell Books, 1992).

Journal Articles and Other Publications:

“Going Under with Klinghoffer,” in the Jewish Review of Books, March 2014.

“France: The Right Rumbles, The Left Wobbles,” in Dissent (on Line, February 19, 2014).

“L’Etranger,” in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, June 27, 2014.

“Verdi, Wagner, Politique et Opera: Ruminations bicentenaires,” in L’homme et la societe, Spring 2014.

“The Values of Dissent,” in Dissent 60th anniversary issue, Winter 2014.

"Ghosts of the American Past?," in Dutch in Nexus (The Nexus Institute and the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands), Fall 2012.

"T.H. Marshall on 'Citizenship and Social Class: A Reconsideration," (London: Policy-Network on Line/Series on Classics in Social Democratic Thought, Summer 2010; in Dissent, Fall 2010.

"Life and Fetters: Chereau, Janacek, Dostoevsky," in Dissent, Summer 2010.

"A Nation Not Quite Like Others," in Times Literary Supplement, London, February 26, 2010.

"Should We Trust Intellectuals?", in Common Knowledge (Duke University Press), Winter 2010, pp. 7-21.

"What is to be Learned?: Thinking about 1989," in Dissent, Fall 2009. 

 "To the Dresden Barricades: The Genesis of Richard Wagner's Political Ideas," in T. S. Grey, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Wagner (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 47-63.

“Socialist Zionism” (published in Hebrew), in Yimiyahu Yovel and Menachem Brinker, eds., New Jewish Time: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture in the Secular Age, Vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Keter, 2007).

"France: Red Rose, Blue Grip," Dissent, Fall 2007, pp. 19-26.

“'A Roasted Cat will never make a Hare-pie': Thoughts on Political Opera,” Published in German: “Aus einer gebratener Katze wird doch kein Hasenpastete”: Überlegungen zum politschen oper,” Musik und Asthetik, July 2006, pp. 51-66; in French as “Réflexions sur l’opéra politique,” Raisons Politiques, May 2004, pp. 41-58.   

"In the Murk of It: Iraq Reconsidered," in Thomas Cushman, ed., A Matter of Principle (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005), pp. 76-92. 

"A Thought Experiment for the Left," Dissent, Summer 2004, Vol. 51 Issue 3, pp. 52-60.

"Auto-Emancipation and Antisemitism," Jewish Social Studies, Fall 2003, Vol. 10 Issue 1, pp. 69-77.

"An Empire of Cant," Dissent, Summer 2002, Vol. 49 Issue 3, pp. 17.

The City University of New York