After earning his bachelor’s degree at the Lorand Eötvös University of Budapest, Hungary, Gombocz completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1987. He started his tenure track position at USD in 1989 where he taught German at all levels, European literature and Honors seminars.

His research interests focus on 18th-century studies, and Gombocz has published numerous article on German writers and philosophers such as Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Burckhardt Mencke, as well as academic satires of the Enlightenment. He has also edited the collected works of Johann Christoph Gottsched and is currently editing the works of Friedrich Nicolai.

Named in 1966 in honor of Elbert Harrington, professor of speech and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (1945-1970), the lecture is an annual event featuring a distinguished professor with long-standing service to the College of Arts & Sciences. Each year a faculty committee in Arts & Sciences recommends to the dean the name of a faculty member to deliver the Harrington Lecture. The faculty member must be a teacher and scholar, and the lecture must be non-technical, blending insight into liberal education with the faculty member’s work as a scholar. A reception will be held immediately following the lecture.

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