Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature at Stanford University in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French and Italian (since 1989). He is also Professeur Associé à l’Université de Montréal, Professeur attaché au Collège de France, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Before coming to Stanford, he studied Romance philology and German literature, Philosophy and Sociology in Germany, Spain, and Italy (finishing a Ph.D. in 1971, and the “Habilitation” in 1974, both at Universität Konstanz). His main areas of teaching and research are the histories of French, Spanish, and Italian literatures (especially in the Middle Ages, the 18th century, and the first half of the 20th century); the history of Literary Criticism and of the Humanities; and the history of western thought since its classical origins. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Montevideo, l’Université de Montréal, the University of St. Petersburg, the University of Lisbon, and, in Germany, Universität Siegen, Universität Greifswald, and Universität Marburg. His most recent books are In Praise of Athletic Beauty (Harvard Press, 2006) and Geist und Materie – Was ist Leben? Zur Aktualität von Erwin Schrödinger (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2008). Forthcoming later this year are a collection of essays on “Becoming American” (Suhrkamp Verlag) and a book on “Stimmung” (mood/”climate”), at Hanser Verlag).