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Peter Thiel returns to Stanford to teach a German course on the limits of globalization

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Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has returned to teach a class at Stanford University, according to a listing spotted by Stanford graduate Andrew Granato on Twitter. Thiel is currently listed as a co-instructor for “German 270: Sovereignty and the Limits of Globalization and Technology.” Thiel attended Stanford for both undergraduate and law school, and he previously taught a law course at the undergrad level in 2011. That law course covered similar topics, titled “Sovereignty, Globalization, and Technological Change.”

The seminar is taught out of the German department, a language Thiel speaks fluently. According to the course description, the class “explores the tensions between state and market,” with readings from Marx and Nietzsche, among other scholars. Notably, the syllabus includes the French philosopher René Girard, who Thiel has credited with shaping his worldview. Thiel will be co-teaching the class with Russell Berman, a German professor known for his classes on conservatism.

Thiel, who advised US President Donald Trump during his transition, is notorious for launching a covert legal campaign against Gawker Media, ultimately resulting in the company’s bankruptcy. In 2016, Thiel appeared to be teaching a course on “heterodox science” at the Berkeley Institute, but a day after the story broke, the course was quietly removed from the school’s website.