Hans Speier was one of the original 12 members of the University in Exile, founded in 1933 at The New School to provide refuge for persecuted scholars from Europe.
Born in Germany in 1905, Speier studied sociology at the University of Heidelberg, where he was Karl Mannheim’s first PhD student. When the Nazis came to power, his wife, Luise, lost her job as a doctor because she was Jewish. That year, the family emigrated to the United States. Speier served as a professor of sociology at The New School in 1933–1942 and 1947–1948; he also worked for the U.S. government.
In 1948, Speier joined the new RAND Corporation, taking part in a new practice of bridging academic and government work. He served as head of the social services division until 1960, then worked at the Council of Foreign Relations and finally as a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts until his death in 1973.
Founded in 1996, the Hans Speier Professorship brings scholars to the Department of Sociology at The New School for Social Research.
Past and Current Hans Speier Professors:
2023 (spring): Maristella Svampa
2021 (fall): Nicola Marcucci
2018–2019: Nicolas Lynch
2013–2014: Pierre Rosanvallon
2012–2013 (spring): Claus Offe
2011–2012 (spring): Luc Boltanski
2010–2011: Yoav Peled
2009–2010 (fall): Daniel Dayan
2009–2010 (spring): Roman Bertrand
2008–2009 (spring): Pierre Rosanvallon
2007–2008 (fall): Daniel Dayan
2007–2008 (spring): Nilüfer Göle
2006–2007 (fall): Julian Casanova
2005–2006: János Kis
2004–2005 (fall): Julian Casanova
2004–2005 (spring): János Kis
2003–2004 (fall): Willfried Spohn
2003–2004 (spring): Gáspár Tamas
2002–2003 (spring): Alain Touraine
2002–2003 (spring): Simonetta Tabboni
2001–2002 (fall): Hubertus Buchstein
1999–2000 (fall): Victor Pérez-Díaz
1999–2000 (fall): Löic Wacquant
1998–1999: Gianfranco Poggi
1997–1998 (fall): Ulrich Preuss
1996–1997 (spring): György Csepeli