Simon Richter is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and member of the Graduate Groups in Comparative Literature and Religious Studies and affiliated with the Programs in Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies. Richter is author of Missing the Breast: Gender, Fantasy and the Body in the German Enlightenment and Laocoon's Body and the Aesthetics of Pain. Richter specializes in gender studies and the history and theory of the body, especially in relation to the eighteenth century. His 1996 article on "The Ins and Outs of Intimacy: Gender, Epistolary Culture, and the Public Sphere" won the Max Kade Prize for Best Article in the German Quarterly. Unwrapping Goethe's Weimar: Essays in Cultural Studies and Local Knowledge (co-edited with Susanne Kord and Burkhard Henke) appeared in late 1999 in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth. Richter also edited volume seven of the Camden House History of German Literature, The Literature of Weimar Classicism (2005). A brief version of his introduction to this volume is accessible in The Literary Encyclopedia. He has published articles in the areas of history of medicine, gay and lesbian studies, aesthetics, opera and literature, the process of digestion, German foodways, cinema studies, cultural studies and on authors such as Sophie von La Roche, Theresa Huber, Winckelmann, Lessing, Heinse, Eichendorff, Hegel, Max Frisch, Goethe, Moritz, Büchner, Schiller, Habermas, and Sophie Mereau. Richter is currently working on a project about the cinematic tradition based on the figure of Lola Montez, a nineteenth-century British woman of humble origins who used her sexuality and prevaricating charm to rise to worldwide renown as an erotic dancer and the lover of composers (Lizst) and kings (Ludwig of Bavaria), leaving disaster in her wake. Ever since Marlene Dietrich’s seductive role as Lola Lola, the risqué nightclub entertainer in Joseph Sternberg’s scandalous Blue Angel (1930), the name Lola has specified the realm of the quintessential vamp.
Germanic Languages and Literatures