Jochen Hörisch studied German, philosophy, and history in Düsseldorf, Paris and Heidelberg from 1970–1976. In 1976, after his doctoral studies, he became an assistant at the University of Düsseldorf, and after completing his Habilitation thesis (1982) he became a lecturer and professor there. Since 1988, he has been a full professor of contemporary German studies and media analysis at the University of Mannheim.
He has held extended guest professorships at the University of Klagenfurt (1986), the Collège international de philosophie and the École normale supérieure in Paris (1993), and the University of Virginia (1996), Princeton (1999), and the University of Indiana (2002) in the US, as well as short-term visiting lectureships in Buenos Aires (2003), at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris (2006), at Marmara University in Istanbul (2007), and at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland (2012). Along with numerous appearances on radio and television programs as an analyst of cultural and media issues, he has recently published books on theory in the music of Richard Wagner (Weibes Wonne und Wert – Richard Wagners Theorie-Theater, with music analysis commentary from Klaus Arp, Die Andere Bibliothek, Berlin, 2015) and on the tensions between “serious” and “popular” music (Pop und Papageno – Über das Spannungsverhältnis von E- und U-Musik, Fink, Munich, 2016).