Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Field of Practice:


City, Country:

Stanford, United States


2009, 2010, 2011

Born 1948 in Würzburg.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature at Stanford University, teaching in the Departments of Comparative Literature, French and Italian. He is also Professeur Associé in the Département de Littérature Comparée at the Université de Montréal, Directeur d’études associé at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Professeur attaché at the Collège de France.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht studied Romance philology, German literature, philosophy, and sociology in Munich, Regensburg, Salamanca, Pavia and Konstanz, receiving his PhD at the University of Konstanz in 1971, where he passed the postdoctoral qualification in 1974.

He was appointed full professor at the University of Bochum (1975-1982) and at the University of Siegen (1983-1989), where he founded the first Humanities Graduate Program in Germany. From 1983 to 1985, Gumbrecht was vice-president of the German Association of Romance Philology.

Visiting professorships have brought him among other places, to Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro; to Berkeley, Princeton and Montreal; to Aarhus, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Lisbon, Munich, Paris, and Riga; to Cape Town, Jerusalem, and Kyoto.

In 1995 Gumbrecht received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and in 2000 he was awarded the Cuthbertson Award for Extraordinary Contributions, both at Stanford University. He is the recipient of honorary Doctoral Degrees from the Universidad de Montevideo (1997), Université de Montréal (2003), University of St. Petersburg (2007), Universität Siegen (2007) and Universität Greifswald (2008). Since 1998, Gumbrecht has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His main areas of teaching and research are the histories of French, Spanish, and Italian literature (especially the Middle Ages, the 18th century, and the first half of the 20th century); the history of the humanities; european philosophy in the first half of the 20th century and aesthetics, mainly the aesthetics of sports.

Gumbrecht’s most recent book-publications are: »In 1926 – Living at the Edge of Time« (Harvard University Press, 1997), »The Powers of Philology« (University of Illinois Press, 2003), »Production of Presence« (Stanford University Press, 2004), »In Praise of Athletic Beauty« (Harvard University Press, 2006), and »Dimensionen und Grenzen der Begriffsgeschichte« (Fink-Verlag, 2007).