Robert Norton

Professor of German
Concurrent Professor of History and Philosophy

Professor of German
101 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Office Hours
TR 2pm-3pm



Ph.D. Princeton University, 1988

M.A. Princeton University, 1985

B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1982

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Cultural and Intellectual History
  • Ethics
  • Aesthetics
  • Political Philosophy


Robert E. Norton is a cultural and intellectual historian who specializes in European, and especially German, history and thought from the Enlightenment to the early twentieth century. His work ranges across a variety of disciplines, including moral philosophy, political theory, aesthetics, and literary history.

Norton has pursued a career in higher education spanning more than three decades, having taught at private liberal arts colleges and at a major research university. He spent a total of eighteen years serving as Chair of his respective departments and four years as Associate Vice President for Internationalization in the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame.

Although his tenure home is in the Department of German, Norton also holds concurrent appointments in the Departments of History and Philosophy. He teaches courses for students across the university as well as others that are open only to students enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters.

Norton's teaching reflects his wide range of interests and his interdisciplinary approach. He has offered College Seminars on "Decline and Fall," "Love, "Money, "Truth," War," and most recently "Death."  For Philosophy, he has taught courses on "Marx, Nietzsche, Freud," "Existentialism," and "The Death of God."

Representative Publications and Accomplishments

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1997-98)

Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, American Philosophical Society (2003)

Ungar German Translation Award, American Translators Association

The Crucible of German Democracy. Ernst Troeltsch and the First World War. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021.

Secret Germany. Stefan George and His Circle. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Russian translation with Nauka Publishing House (St. Petersburg)

Chinese translation with Zhejiang University Press