Huyssen studied at several European universities including Madrid, Cologne, Paris, and Munich.
He is the founding director of the university"s Center for Comparative Literature and Society and one of the founding editors of the New German Critique, the leading journal of German studies in the United States. He received his doctorate in Germanic and Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Zürich in 1969, and taught at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee from 1971 until 1986, when he joined the faculty at Columbia. From 1986 to 1992 and 2005 to 2008 he served as head of Columbia"s Germanic Languages and Literatures department.
From 1998 to 2003 he was founding director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society.
The two teach an undergraduate class together at Columbia called "Words and Pictures," which examines problems of visual representation in literature, particularly theories of ekphrasis.
( This issue is dedicated to the thought and writing of M...)
Member Modern Language Association (delegate-at-large, political action committee 1976-1978), American Association Teachers German, International Brecht Society, Lessing Society, Germanistic Society American (president 1989-1990), Phi Beta Kappa. M C.
Married Nina Bernstein, June 22, 1975. Children: Daniel, David.