Professor of German Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature, Chair of German Studies


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. 

Brown Affiliations