German literature

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

portrait: DLCL Admin
Contact: 

Building 260, Room 112
sepp@stanford.edu

Office Hours: 
Contact Margaret Tompkins, tompkins@stanford.edu, 723-1356

 

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of French & Italian (and by courtesy, he is affiliated with the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures/ILAC, the Department of German Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought & Literature). As a scholar, Gumbrecht focuses on the histories of the national literatures in Romance language (especially French, Spanish, and Brazilian), but also on German literature, while, at the same time, he teaches and writes about the western philosophical tradition (almost exclusively on non-analytic philosophy) with an emphasis on French and German nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts. In addition, Gumbrecht tries to analyze and to understand forms of aesthetic experience 21st-century everyday culture. Over the past forty years, he has published more than sixteen hundred texts, including books, translated into more than twenty languages. In Europe and in South America, Gumbrecht has a presence as a public intellectual; whereas, in the academic world, he has been acknowledged by nine honorary doctorates in six different countries: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Russia . He has also held a number of visiting professorships, at the Collège de France, Zeppelin Universität (Friedrichshafen), University of Manchester, and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, among others.

Since the beginning of the academic year 2011-2012, Gumbrecht has laid the foundation for a new book that will try to make present for twenty-first century readers the life and works of the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot (1713-1784) in a new way. On one hand, this project takes on the challenge of how certain passions and the mood of certain environments in Diderot’s life can be made present in the most immediate way for contemporary readers -- referring, for example, to Diderot’s obsession with defining what a “perfectly happy day” would be, or to the physical and social challenge of his several-month stay at the Court of Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg, late in his life. On the other hand, and in contrast to Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Diderot’s life will be presented as part of a genealogy of the present-day intellectual, with the implication that, due to a specific “openness to the world,” the twenty-first century may become Diderot’s century as much as the twentieth century was Voltaire’s, and, probably, the nineteenth century, Rousseau’s

Education: 

 

(including assistant professorships)

1974: Venia Legendi (Habilitation) Allgemeine und Romanische Literaturwissenschaft Universität Konstanz
1972: Universita degli studi di Pavia
1971-1974: Universität Konstanz

1971: Ph.D. Universität Konstanz

1970-1971: Universität München
1969-1970: Universidad de Salamanca
1969: Universität Regensburg 

1967-1969: Universität München
1967: Abitur, Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg

1966: Lyceé Henri IV, Paris
1958-1967: Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg

Language(s): 
French

Jessie Byron Ferguson

portrait: Jessie Ferguson
Contact: 

jbfergus@stanford.edu

Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
Focal Group(s): 
Philosophy and Literature

I began my doctoral studies at Stanford in 2007.  Before that, I studied Central European literature and culture as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where I was also an enthusiastic member of the Women in Philosophy group.  I then received my M.A. from San Francisco State University with a thesis on history and autofiction in three novels of the mid-1990s. 

My dissertation focuses on the 20th century "essayistic" novel in Latin America (Cuba) and in Europe (Austria), in the context of distinct national/cultural traditions of philosophy and essayistic writing.  I am particularly interested in one shared aspect of these works: the evolving tensions between authorship and fictional creation in the 20th century.  Although my focus is on the era from roughly 1910 to 1965, this tension becomes increasingly salient as the century concludes; I argue that by studying earlier experiments in essayism, we can construct a crucial prehistory of autofiction and related postmodern subgenres on both continents. This is not a triumphalist history of radical uncertainty prevailing over dogmatic realism; it is equally the story of a counter-movement away from creativity and towards a more defensive posture, i.e. an attempt to assess the costs as well as the benefits of essayistic style without simply recapitulating Lukács (although you may draw the glasses and mustache on my portrait above, if you must).

I am also interested in the essay as form in world literature; in the construction and extension of "nonfiction" as a literary category; and, much more broadly, in the figure and theme of education within modern literature: as an imperative, as a curse, as a utopia, as a forest not seen for the trees.

Education: 

2007: M.A. Comparative and World Literature, San Francisco State University. Additional coursework at the University of California-Berkeley and Freie Universität Berlin (2006).  Thesis: "The Archimedean Author: W.G. Sebald, Roberto Bolaño, and Narrative After Borges."

2002: B.A. General Studies in the Humanities, University of Chicago.  Emphasis on East-Central European literature and culture.

Language(s): 
German
Language(s): 
Spanish

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

portrait:
Contact: 

Building 260, Room 112
sepp@stanford.edu

Office Hours: 
Contact Margaret Tompkins, tompkins@stanford.edu, 723-1356

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of French & Italian (and by courtesy, he is affiliated with the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures/ILAC, the Department of German Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought & Literature). As a scholar, Gumbrecht focuses on the histories of the national literatures in Romance language (especially French, Spanish, and Brazilian), but also on German literature, while, at the same time, he teaches and writes about the western philosophical tradition (almost exclusively on non-analytic philosophy) with an emphasis on French and German nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts. In addition, Gumbrecht tries to analyze and to understand forms of aesthetic experience 21st-century everyday culture. Over the past forty years, he has published more than sixteen hundred texts, including books, translated into more than twenty languages. In Europe and in South America, Gumbrecht has a presence as a public intellectual; whereas, in the academic world, he has been acknowledged by nine honorary doctorates in six different countries: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Russia . He has also held a number of visiting professorships, at the Collège de France, Zeppelin Universität (Friedrichshafen), University of Manchester, and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, among others.

Since the beginning of the academic year 2011-2012, Gumbrecht laid the foundation for a new book that will try to make present for twenty-first century readers the life and works of the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot (1713-1784) in a new way. On one hand, this project takes on the challenge of how certain passions and the mood of certain environments in Diderot’s life can be made present in the most immediate way for contemporary readers -- referring, for example, to Diderot’s obsession with defining what a “perfectly happy day” would be, or to the physical and social challenge of his several-month stay at the Court of Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg, late in his life. On the other hand, and in contrast to Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Diderot’s life will be presented as part of a genealogy of the present-day intellectual, with the implication that, due to a specific “openness to the world,” the twenty-first century may become Diderot’s century as much as the twentieth century was Voltaire’s, and, probably, the nineteenth century, Rousseau’s

Education: 

(including assistant professorships)

1974: Venia Legendi (Habilitation) Allgemeine und Romanische Literaturwissenschaft Universität Konstanz
1972: Universita degli studi di Pavia
1971-1974: Universität Konstanz

1971: Ph.D. Universität Konstanz

1970-1971: Universität München
1969-1970: Universidad de Salamanca
1969: Universität Regensburg 

1967-1969: Universität München
1967: Abitur, Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg

1966: Lyceé Henri IV, Paris
1958-1967: Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg

Language(s): 
French

Russell Berman

portrait: Beverly Allen
Contact: 

Building 260, Room 201
Phone: 650 723 1069
berman@stanford.edu

Office Hours: 
M 10:00-11:00 and by appointment
Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
Focal Group(s): 
Philosophy and Literature
Curriculum Vitae: 

Professor Berman joined the Stanford faculty in 1979. In 1982-83 he was a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard, and in 1988-89 he held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin. In 1997 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Berman is the editor of the journal Telos.

Education: 

1979: Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

1972: B.A., Harvard University

Language(s): 
German
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