Frank Ruda

Professor at The European Graduate School / EGS


Frank Ruda is a philosopher and translator. Currently a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee, Scotland, his research interests include Contemporary/20th-century French Philosophy, Descartes, German Idealism, Aesthetics and Media Philosophy, Phenomenology, Political Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Theories of Fatalism.

Ruda studied philosophy and German literature (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft) at the Ruhr-University of Bochum and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris. A Fellow at the postgraduate program “Lebensformen und Lebenswissen” at the Universities of Potsdam and Viadrina (Frankfurt / Oder) between   2005 and 2008, he then obtained a PhD in philosophy from the University of Potsdam with a doctoral thesis on Hegel. In 2017, Ruda received his venia legendi for philosophy from the Free University of Berlin with a habilitation dissertation titledSchlimmer als Irrtum. Indifferenz und Fatalismus“.

In 2010, Ruda was appointed Visiting Lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Ljubljana) and, in 2012, at Bard College Berlin. He also taught at, among others, Free University of Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt, Bauhaus University in Weimar, and at the University of Potsdam.

Between 2008 and 2014, Ruda was a research associate (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Free University of Berlin and, in 2015/16, at Goethe University Frankfurt. Following this, Ruda was a Senior Fellow at IKKM (International Research Institute for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy) in Weimar until 2017.

In addition to numerous book chapters and articles, Ruda has authored several books:

Gegen-Freiheit. Komik und Fatalismus (Konstanz University Press, 2018) contrasts fatalism with dominant ideologies of freedom (of choice), whereas Indifferenz und Wiederholung. Freiheit in der Moderne (Konstanz University Press, 2018) explores the (critique of the) myth of the givenness of freedom. In turn, Abolishing Freedom. A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism (Nebraska University Press, 2016) affirms that, today, (comic) “fatalism is the only possible stance that allows us to think freedom without being indifferent.”

 For Badiou. Idealism Without Idealism (with a Preface by Slavoj Žižek, Northwestern University Press 2015) “serves both as an introduction to the influential French philosopher Alain Badiou’s thought and as an in-depth examination of his work”; Hegel’s Rabble. An Investigation into Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (with a Preface by Slavoj Žižek, Continuum 2011) examines the Hegelian problem of the rabble, arguing “that only by re-thinking this problem […]- the only problem Hegel is able neither to resolve nor to sublate – can the early Marxian conception of ‘the proletariat’ be properly understood.“

With Jan Völker, Ruda has translated/edited Alain Badiou (Dritter Entwurf eines Manifests für den Affirmationismus, Merve 2007; Ist Politik denkbar? morale provisoire #1, Merve 2010; Die Kommunistische Hypothese. morale provisoire #2, Merve 2011), Jacques Rancière (Ist Kunst widerständig?, Merve 2008) and Alenka Zupančič (Der Geist der Komödie. morale provisoire # 4, Merve 2014) into German.

Other recent edited books include Reading Marx (with Agon Hamza and Slavoj Žižek, Polity Press 2018), The Dash – The Other Side of Absolute Knowing (with Rebecca Comay, MIT Press 2018), Generische Formen in den Künsten (with Kirsten Maar and Jan Völker, Fink 2017), Slavoj Žižek and Dialectical Materialism (with Agon Hamza, Palgrave 2015) and Art and Contemporaneity (with Jan Völker, diaphanes 2015).

Ruda is a member of the board of the German Society for Aesthetics, co-editor in chief (with Agon Hamza) of the journal Crisis and Critique, member of the editorial board of the book series Insolubilia at Edinburgh University Press and also of the editorial board of the journal Continental Thought & Theory. A Journal of Intellectual Freedom.