Gerhard Richter is a professor of German studies and comparative literature at Brown University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Inheriting Walter Benjamin and Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics. Ann Smock is a professor emerita of French at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of two books, including What Is There to Say? (Nebraska, 2003), and has translated several books. An influential theorist, philosopher, and literary critic, Werner Hamacher (1948–2017) was a professor at the University of Frankfurt and founder of its Institute of General and Comparative Literary Studies.