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Herbert Lindenberger

Emeriti Faculty
B.A., Antioch College, 1951
Ph.D., University of Washington, 1955
At Stanford Since: 


Herbert Lindenberger came to Stanford in 1969 to start the graduate program in Comparative Literature, which he headed from that year until 1982. During 1991-1992, he directed the Stanford Humanities Center, which he helped found a decade before. He has worked in a variety of national literatures, periods and genres. His books include On Wordsworth's 'Prelude' (1963); studies of two German writers, Georg Buechner (1964) and Georg Trakl (1971); Historical Drama (1975); Saul's Fall: A Critical Fiction (1979), a work of experimental criticism; Opera: The Extravagant Art (1984), which applies techniques developed within literary criticism to a musical form; The History in Literature: On Value, Genre, Institutions (1990), a series of essays that examine and at the same time exemplify the turn to history characterizing literary study during the 1980s; Opera in History: From Monteverdi to Cage (1998), which demonstrates the ways that some major operatic compositions since the form's beginnings can be contextualized historically; and, most recently, Situating Opera: Period, Genre, Reception (2010), which relates opera to such phenomena as neuroscience, the novel, and its relation to its consumers during its 400-year history. He is currently writing a book on what happened to his German relatives during the Holocaust--this project seeking to blend family history, literary and music criticism, and personal reflection. Lindenberger is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, NEH, and Stanford Humanities Center Fellowships. He served as president of the Modern Language Association of America for the year 1997.