Terence Renaud is a historian of the German left, international social movements, and visualizations of the capitalist system. Before coming to Chicago, he worked as a lecturer in humanities and history at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in history with a minor in critical theory from the University of California, Berkeley.
His book, New Lefts: The Making of a Radical Tradition (Princeton University Press, 2021), uses methods of intellectual history and critical theory to reinterpret the New Left and its historical roots in Germany and Western Europe. The book was reviewed in Boston Review, n+1, The New Journal, Intellectual History Review, Haaretz, and Marx & Philosophy Review of Books. He has been interviewed about it by The Nation and New Books Network.
His current project concerns visual representations of capitalism in the Belle Époque. Cartoons and other allegorical images proliferated in European and North American leftist newspapers between the 1890s and 1910s. Illustrations such as the Pyramid of the Capitalist System (1911) depicted the class hierarchy of industrial society in vivid terms. Circulating as cheap posters and postcards, these images formed a visual repertoire of class struggle. This interdisciplinary project is relevant to our own age of highly mediatized politics, when by contrast to the early 20th century it seems impossible to visualize the capitalist system as a whole.
Along with publishing in academic journals such as Modern Intellectual History, The Historical Journal, and New German Critique, his work has appeared in popular forums such as Aeon, The Point, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.