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.
- Richard T. Gray, Ghostwriting: W. G. Sebald’s Poetics of History. New Directions in German Studies. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.
- Richard Gray, Nicholas Halmi, Gary J. Handwerk, Michael A. Rosenthal, and Klaus Vieweg. Inventions of the Imagination Romanticism and Beyond. University of Washington Press: 2011.
- Richard Gray, Hamid Tafazoli. Außenraum - Mitraum - Innenraum. External Space - Co-Space - Internal Space: Heterotopien in Kultur und Gesellschaft. Heterotopias in Culture and Society. Aisthesis Verlag: 2011.
Research Advised: Graduate Dissertations
- Seth Berk. "Amazons Abound! German Phantasies of the Amazonian Other." Diss.
- Tim Coombs. “Wundgelesenes: The Signature of the Wound in Kafka and Celan.” Diss.
- Nathan Magnusson. "Accommodating the Nation: Hospitality and State-Belonging in Nineteenth-Century German Literature.” Diss.
- Bryan Aja. "Novel Developments: Aspects of the German Bildungsroman as Core Components of Minority Literature." Diss., in progress.
- Alum News: Interview with Sam Hylton (BA 2014) - March 11, 2019
- Greetings from Berlin: Meet our Alumna Nicole Calian (PhD 2008) - February 27, 2019
- News from Our Alums: Cora Wilke-Gray (BA 2014) - November 20, 2018
- Newly Minted PhD: Nathan Bates - June 12, 2018
- Now in Print: Rick Gray's New Book Ghostwriting: W. G. Sebald’s Poetics of History - January 30, 2018
- On View at the Henry Art Gallery: JUNGEN - July 26, 2017
- Ghostwriting: W. G. Sebald’s Poetics of History - March 31, 2017
- News from our alums: Anecdotes of Heinrich von Kleist by Matthew Spencer (BA 2012) - July 28, 2020
- Stephanie Welch's poster for Rick Gray's Course Freud and the Literary Imagination - June 29, 2017
- Claudia Öhlschläger on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Bettina Matthias on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Walter Erhart on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Scott Baker on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Monika Kaup on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Christoph Zeller on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Geoffrey Cox on Rick Gray - June 29, 2017
- Seth Berk on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Sabina Pasic on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Sylvia Rieger on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Hamid Tafazoli on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Heidi Schlipphacke on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Gary Handwerk on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Jane Brown on Rick Gray - June 28, 2017
- Department and Friends Celebrate Retirement of Professor Rick Gray - June 20, 2017
- Richard Gray's graduate seminar in autumn 2015 :: W. G. Sebald’s Prose Fictions - May 21, 2015
- "Professor Gray, the Gadfly?!" Graduate Student Seth Berk Interviews Rick Gray - April 28, 2015
- UW Germanics Professors awarded prestigious Hood Fellowships at the University of Auckland - October 13, 2014
- Professor Richard Gray Receives Faculty Recognition Award - March 15, 2014
- Graduate Course Launches Aesthetics Website - March 11, 2013
- Faculty News - Spring 2012 - June 15, 2012