Paul Robinson has been teaching at Stanford since 1967 and is the Richard W. Lyman Professor in the Humanities (Emeritus) in the Department of History. Before coming to Stanford, he studied at Yale and Harvard, where he got his PhD. He works on the history of European (and sometimes American) thought in the 19th and 20th centuries. His writing has focused on three topics. The first is the history of psychoanalysis. The second is the history of ideas about human sexuality, especially the experience of gays and lesbians. The third is the connection between intellectual history and the history of opera.
He is the author of many books, including The Freudian Left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert Marcuse (1969), The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters, and Virginia Johnson (1976), Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss (1985), Freud and His Critics (1993), Ludwig van Beethoven: 'Fidelio' (1996), Gay Lives: Homosexual Autobiography from John Addington Symonds to Paul Monette (1999), Opera, Sex, and Other Vital Matters (2002), and, most recently, Queer Wars: The New Gay Right and Its Critics (2005).
He has been awarded, among other things, the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.