Gerhard Richter is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature, as well as Chair of German Studies, at Brown University, where he also serves on the core faculty of the Graduate Program in Collaborative Humanities at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. He was educated in Germany and the U.S., earning his Ph.D. at Princeton University. Richter is a former Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Bonn. His books include Inheriting Walter Benjamin ("Walter Benjamin Studies" Series, London: Bloomsbury, 2016); Verwaiste Hinterlassenschaften. Formen gespentischen Erbens [Orphaned Remains: Forms of Ghostly Inheriting] (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2016); Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (Columbia University Press, 2011); Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford University Press, 2007) [Portuguese translation: Imagens de Pensamento: Reflexões dos escritores da Escola de Frankfurt a partir da vida danificada. Trans. Fabio Akcelrud Durão. São Paulo, Brazil: Nankin, 2017]; Ästhetik des Ereignisses. Sprache - Geschichte - Medium [Aethetics of the Event: Language - History - Medium] (Fink, 2005); and Walter Benjamin and the Corpus of Autobiography (Wayne State University Press, 2000; 2nd edition, 2002). Richter also is the editor of seven additional books, including Jacques Derrida's Copy, Archive, Signature: A Conversation on Photography (Stanford University Press, 2010). Among other texts, Richter has translated into English Benjamin’s 1938 “Diary Entries” (in Benjamin’s Selected Writings, vol. 3, Harvard University Press) as well as Adorno’s 1969 Spiegel conversation on aesthetics and politics. He has served as chair of the Executive Committee of the MLA's Division on Philosophical Approaches to Literature and serves on the Advisory Board of the International Walter Benjamin Society. Before coming to Brown, Richter taught at the University of California, Davis, where he served as Director of the Graduate Program in Critical Theory, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been a visiting fellow at institutions such as Northwestern, Rutgers, and Syracuse, and, in Germany, at the Universities of Bonn, Cologne, and Düsseldorf, as well as the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin.
|Richter, Gerhard The Artwork without Cardinal Direction: Notes on Orientation in Adorno. MLN/MLN. 2016; 131 (3) : 754-769.|
|Richter, Gerhard The Debt of Inheritance Revisited: Heidegger's Mortgage, Derrida's Appraisal. Oxford Literary Review/Oxford Lit Review. 2015; 37 (1) : 67-91.|
|Richter, Gerhard Benjamin's Blotting Paper: Writing and Erasing a Theological Figure of Thought. Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures/Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures. 2011; 65 (1) : 25-43.|
|Richter, Gerhard Die Erbschaft der Konstellation. Adorno und Hegel. MLN/MLN. 2011; 126 (3) : 446-470.|
|Richter, G. Can Anything Be Rescued by Defending It? Benjamin with Adorno. differences/differences. 2010; 21 (3) : 34-52.|
|Richter, Gerhard The Work of Art and Its Formal and Genealogical Determinations: Benjamin's “Cool Place” between Kant and Nietzsche. Grey Room/Grey Room. 2010; 39 : 95-113.|
|Richter, Gerhard Unsettling Photography: Kafka, Derrida, Moses. CR: The New Centennial Review/CR. 2007; 7 (2) : 155-173.|
|Richter, G. Aesthetic Theory and Nonpropositional Truth Content in Adorno. New German Critique/New German Critique. 2006; 33 (1 97) : 119-135.|
|Richter, Gerhard Can Hope Be Disappointed?: Contextualizing a Blochian Question. symploke/symploke. 2006; 14 (1) : 42-54.|
|Richter, Gerhard Crude thinking rethought. CANG/CANG. 2005; 10 (3) : 3-13.|
|Richter, Gerhard Sites of Indeterminacy and the Spectres of Eurocentrism. Culture, Theory and Critique/Culture, Theory and Critique. 2002; 43 (1) : 51-65.|
Gerhard Richter's research focuses on aesthetic theory and European critical thought since Kant; modern German literature and culture (including photography); the Frankfurt School (especially Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno); the intersections of literary writing and philosophy (especially Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida); contemporary French thought; questions of translation; and the complexities of intellectual and cultural inheritance.
Professor Richter publishes in the general areas of European critical thought and modern German literature and culture.
He is the author of Inheriting Walter Benjamin ("Walter Benjamin Studies" Series, London: Bloomsbury, 2016); Verwaiste Hinterlassenschaften. Formen gespenstischen Erbens (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2016); Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (Columbia University Press, 2011); Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford University Press, 2007) [Portuguese translation: Imagens de Pensamento: Reflexões dos escritores da Escola de Frankfurt a partir da vida danificada. Trans. Fabio Akcelrud Durão. São Paulo, Brazil: Nankin, 2017]; Ästhetik des Ereignisses. Sprache - Geschichte - Medium [Aesthetics of the Event: Language - History - Medium] (Fink, 2005); and Walter Benjamin and the Corpus of Autobiography (Wayne State University Press, 2000; 2nd edition, 2002).
In addition to his single-author books, Professor Richter has published seven edited books, including Benjamin's Ghosts: Interventions in Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory (Stanford University Press, 2002); Literary Paternity, Literary Friendship (University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Sound Figures of Modernity: German Music and Philosophy (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002, co-ed. with Jost Hermand); Language without Soil: Adorno and Late Philosophical Modernity (Fordham University Press, 2010); Jacques Derrida, Copy, Archive, Signature: A Conversation on Photography (Stanford University Press, 2010); Benjamins Grenzgänge - Benjamin's Frontiers (Königshausen & Neumann, 2013, co-ed. with Karl Solibakke and Bernd Witte); and Give the Word: Responses to Werner Hamacher's 95 Theses on Philology, co-ed. with Ann Smock (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming).
He also has published well over 60 articles and book chapters in venues such as MLN, New German Critique, differences, Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie, Oxford Literary Review, Weimarer Beiträge, The Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin, The German Quarterly, Monatshefte, Telos, Grey Room, Journal of Visual Culture, CR: The New Centennial Review, qui parle, German Politics and Society, Symploke, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, and Culture, Theory, and Critique.
Some of Professor Richter's recent journal articles and book chapters (since 2010) include “Wer erbt, interpretiert. 14 Thesen.” Theater der Zeit. Arbeitsbuch 26: Heart of the City II: Recherchen zum Stadttheater der Zukunft. Eds. Dorte Lena Eilers and Jutta Wangemann (Berlin: Verlag Theater der Zeit, 2017); "Judging By Refraining from Judgment: The Artwork and Its Einordnung," The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory, ed. Michael J. Thompson. Series: Political Philosophy and Public Purpose. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017); "The Prize and Price of Thinking and Thanking: False Life, Living on," MLN (Johns Hopkins University Press) 131:5 (Comparative Literature Issue) (December 2016); "Homeless Images: Kracauer’s Extraterritoriality, Derrida’s Monolingualism of the Other” (Chapter 3 of Thought-Images), reprinted in Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds, eds. Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela (Punctum, 2016); “The Artwork without Cardinal Direction: Notes on Orientation in Adorno.” MLN (Johns Hopkins University Press) 131: 3 (German Issue) (April 2016); "Nazism and Negative Dialectics: Adorno's Hitler in Minima Moralia" (Chapter 4 of Thought-Images), reprinted in two-volume reference anthology Theodor W. Adorno II, ed. Espen Hammer, Series: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers (Routledge, 2016); "The Debt of Inheritance Revisited: Heidegger's Mortgage, Derrida's Appraisal," Oxford Literary Review 37:1 (2015); "Critique and the Thing: Benjamin and Heidegger," Sparks will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger, eds. Andrew Benjamin and Dimitris Vardoulakis. SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy. (SUNY Press, 2015); "Mit der Zeit gehen," Benjamins Grenzgänge - Benjamin's Frontiers (Königshausen & Neumann, 2013); "Die Seminare über Schiller und Herder. Von der Freiheit zur Sprache," Heidegger-Handbuch. Leben-Werk-Wirkung, 2nd ed. (Metzler, 2013); "Gespräch über Bäume," Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie 33-34 (2012); "Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) and Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)," Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers, ed. Alessandro Giovanelli (Continuum, 2012); "Die Erbschaft der Konstellation. Adorno und Hegel," MLN 126: 3 (2011); "Benjamin's Blotting Paper: Writing and Erasing a Theological Figure of Thought," Symposium 65: 1 (2011); "Love as Resistance: A Miniature after Adorno," Culture Industry Today, ed. Fabio Akcelrud Durão (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010); "Can Anything Be Rescued by Defending It? Benjamin with Adorno," differences 31: 3 (2010), also in Portuguese translation as "Pode algo ser salvo ao ser defendido? Benjamin com Adorno," trans. Tauan Tinti, Remate de Males: Revista de Teoria e História Literária 30: 1 (2010); "Der Schatz der Bilder. Bild und Erinnerung bei Heidegger," Weimarer Beiträge 56: 3 (2010); "The Work of Art and Its Formal and Genealogical Determinations: Benjamin's 'Cool Place' between Kant and Nietzsche," Grey Room 39 (2010); "Between Translation and Invention: The Photograph in Deconstruction," Introduction to Jacques Derrida, Copy, Archive, Signature: A Conversation on Photography (Stanford, 2010); "Acts of Memory and Mourning: Derrida and the Fictions of Anteriority," Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates, ed. Susannah Radstone and Bill Schwarz (Fordham, 2010); "Introduction," Language without Soil: Adorno and Late Philosophical Modernity (Fordham, 2010).
Most recently, Richter has delivered invited lectures, keynote addresses, and guest seminars on his research at institutions such as Cornell, UC Berkeley, Rutgers, NYU, Penn, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Georgia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Minnesota, SUNY Buffalo, Syracuse, Clark, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Penn State, UCLA, Northwestern, UC Irvine, UC Davis, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Germany), Universität Bonn (Germany), Universität Lüneburg (Germany), Universität Düsseldorf (Germany), Universität Leipzig (Germany), Andrássy University (Budapest), Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil), Saint Petersburg State University (Russia), the Theater Freiburg & the Museum Freiburg, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Among Professor Richter's honors and awards are an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship; a DAAD Faculty Research Grant; a Brown in Translation Award for the translation of his book Thought-Images into Portuguese; major conference grants from the DAAD and the Goethe Institute; an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant to co-direct an Interdisciplinary Humanities Workshop; the H.I. Romnes Award for Excellence in Research (University of Wisconsin); the William F. Vilas Research Award (University of Wisconsin); a Hilldale Award for Collaborative Research (University of Wisconsin); a Lilly Endowment Excellence in Teaching Award; as well as a Course Development Grant in Recognition of Teaching Excellence.
He recently was invited to present the Rodig Lecture and Seminar at Rutgers University. Richter also has served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Public Culture Summer Graduate Institute at Northwestern University; a Distinguished Lecturer at the Syracuse Humanities Center and School of Architecture; a Visiting Lecturer at an NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers on "Walter Benjamin's Later Writings" at UC Irvine; a DAAD Faculty Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf; an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn; a Visiting Scholar at the Universität zu Köln; and as a Visiting Scholar at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin.
In addition, Professor Richter has served on the Executive Committee of the International Walter Benjamin Society, and as an elected member of the MLA's Delegate Assembly. He also chairs the Executive Committee of the MLA's Division on Philosophical Approaches to Literature and serves on the editorial boards of academic journals, including Benjamin-Studien.
Professor Richter is an award-winning teacher, earning, among other recognitions, a Lilly Endowment Excellence in Teaching Award. His undergraduate courses have included, among others, "Marx, Nietzsche, Freud," "The Writing of the Disaster: Representations of the Holocaust in Germany and the US," "Literature and Photography," "German Lyric Poetry from Goethe to Celan," "What Is Enlightenment? Readings in German Intellectual History," and "On Love - Über die Liebe." Recent graduate seminars include "Walter Benjamin: Aesthetics, Media, Modernity," "Heidegger and Lyric Poetry," "What Is Art? Aesthetic Theory from Kant to Adorno," "Of Friends and Enemies," "Frankfurt School Critical Theory," "Light-Writing: Literature - Photography - Philosophy," "Inheriting Hegel," and "Europe—The Very Idea."
On the graduate level, Professor Richter has directed doctoral dissertations in German Studies, Comparative Literature, and English. He also has served as a reader on numerous dissertation committees as well as M.A. and Ph.D. examination committees in German Studies, Comparative Literature, English, History, Theater & Performance Studies, Art History, and Cultural Studies. In addition to his service on dissertation committees in the US, Professor Richter has served as external doctoral dissertation reviewer in the fields of Philosophy, Art History & Visual Culture, and Architecture & Design for universities in Europe, South Africa, and Australia.
|GRMN 1660M - Light-Writing: Literature Photography Philosophy|
|GRMN 1890 - Two Artwork Essays: Martin Heidegger and Walter Benjamin|
|GRMN 1891 - Reflections from Damaged Life: Freud, Adorno, Blanchot, Derrida|
|GRMN 2661D - What Is Critique?|
|GRMN 2661G - Frankfurt School Critical Theory|
|GRMN 2661K - Thinking Tradition: Heidegger, Arendt, Adorno|