2007–08 Diane and Howard Wohl Fellow Mr. Martin Shuster
Martin Shuster received an M.A. in philosophy of religion from Yale University and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Maryland. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was a Ph.D. candidate at the Humanities Center at John Hopkins University. For his Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship, Mr. Shuster conducted research for his project “Roses, Crosses, and the Owl of Minerva: Modern Subjectivity and the Holocaust.”
Mr. Shuster is the recipient of several awards and fellowships. He twice received the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Prize Teaching Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University and finished as a finalist in the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Writing Contest. At the time of his tenure he was co-authoring with Stephen Vicchio a book on Job in the Blackwell Bible series, and was awaiting the publication of his article, “Being as Breath, Vapor as Joy - Using Martin Heidegger to Re-Read the Book of Ecclesiastes,” in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. He has been a teaching instructor at John Hopkins University, and has proficiency in Russian, Hebrew, German, Arabic, French, and Yiddish.
During his tenure at the Center, Mr. Shuster studied modern notions of subjectivity in tandem with the Holocaust. Constructing a theoretical framework using the writings of Kant and Hegel, he examined various perpetrator documents, including the Museum’s vast archival collections to determine to what extent the theoretical debates between Kant and Hegel can be mapped onto the process of the Nazi genocide. Mr. Shuster examined perpetrator justifications for the Shoah, such as the ways in which perpetrators granted authority to various institutions or how they justified their actions, in order to see what sort of philosophical claims (vis-à-vis subjectivity) underpin these justifications.