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Richard Gray

Professor of Germanics, Byron W. and Alice L. Lockwood Professor in the Humanities
Rick Gray

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Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1981

My research has focused on German literature and intellectual history during the broadly defined modernist period, covering the time from about 1770 through to the postwar era. I have completed several book-length studies that investigate different aspects of literary and intellectual culture across this historical timeframe. The monograph Stations of the Divided Subject (1995) studies the emergence and ultimate crisis of bourgeois subjectivity and individuality, as documented in select literary and philosophical texts of this period. This was followed by a book on the development of German physiognomic thought from the end of the eighteenth century through to the racial theories of German fascism, published under the title About Face (2004). My most recent book, Money Matters (2008), explores the intersections between economic theory, literature, and philosophy during the developmental phase of this historical epoch (1770-1850). A further recurrent interest in my scholarship has been the works of Franz Kafka. Launched by my first book, Constructive Destruction (1987), which studied Kafka’s aphoristic and parabolic writings in the context of these literary traditions, I went on to edit a pedagogical volume on Approaches to Teaching Kafka’s Short Fiction (1995) and assumed the role of the lead editor and author for Greenwood Press’s Franz Kafka Encyclopedia (2005). I am currently working on a book collecting essays about narrative technique in Kafka’s short stories, tentatively titled Acts of Narration in Franz Kafka’s Short Fiction. In addition, I am in the process of completing a manuscript on the fictional texts of the contemporary German writer W. G. Sebald. Beyond my scholarly writings, I have also been active as a translator, most recently contributing two volumes to The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche in 20 Volumes, the definitive North American Nietzsche edition currently being published by Stanford University Press.

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