Bio


Amir Eshel is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies, Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature and an Affiliated Faculty at The Taube Center for Jewish Studies and The Europe Center at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the faculty director of Stanford’s research group on The Contemporary and of the Poetic Media Lab at Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). His research focuses on contemporary literature and the arts as they touch on memory, history, politics, and ethics.

Amir Eshel is the author of Poetic Thinking Today (forthcoming with Stanford University Press in 2019). Previous books include Futurity: Contemporary Literature and the Quest for the Past (The University of Chicago Press in 2013). The German version of the book, Zukünftigkeit: Die zeitgenössische Literatur und die Vergangenheit, appeared in 2012 with Suhrkamp Verlag. Together with Rachel Seelig, he co-edited The German-Hebrew Dialogue: Studies of Encounter and Exchange (2018). In 2014, he co-edited with Ulrich Baer a book of essays on Hannah Arendt, Hannah Arendt: zwischen den Disziplinen; and also co-edited a book of essays on Barbara Honigmann with Yfaat Weiss, Kurz hinter der Wahrheit und dicht neben der Lüge (2013).

Earlier scholarship includes the books Zeit der Zäsur: Jüdische Lyriker im Angesicht der Shoah (1999), and Das Ungesagte Schreiben: Israelische Prosa und das Problem der Palästinensischen Flucht und Vertreibung (2006). Amir Eshel has also published essays on Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Paul Celan, Dani Karavan, Gerhard Richter, W.G. Sebald, Günter Grass, Alexander Kluge, Barbara Honigmann, Durs Grünbein, Dan Pagis, S. Yizhar, and Yoram Kaniyuk.

In 2018, with the artist Gerhard Richter, Amir Eshel published Zeichnungen/רישומים, a book which brings together 25 drawings by Richter from the clycle 40 Tage and Eshel’s bi-lingual poetry in Hebrew and German.

Amir Eshel is a recipient of fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt and the Friedrich Ebert foundations and received the Award for Distinguished Teaching from the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, German Studies
  • Professor, Comparative Literature

Program Affiliations


  • Modern Thought and Literature

2018-19 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Aku Ammah-Tagoe, Meryem Deniz, Dharshani Jayasinghe
  • Orals Chair
    Aku Ammah-Tagoe, Annie Atura Bushnell, Joe Cadagin
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Ella Elbaz, Courtney Hodrick
  • Orals Evaluator
    Dharshani Jayasinghe
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Irene Kuo

All Publications


  • German and Hebrew: Histories of a Conversation PROOFTEXTS-A JOURNAL OF JEWISH LITERARY HISTORY Eshel, A., Rokem, N. 2013; 33 (1): 1-8
  • Between spontaneity and reflection: Reconsidering Jewish modernism - Introduction MODERNISM-MODERNITY Eshel, A., Presner, T. 2006; 13 (4): 607-614
  • Special issue on: Paul Celan - Introduction NEW GERMAN CRITIQUE Baer, U., Eshel, A. 2004: 5-14
  • Paul Celans' other: History, poetics, and ethics NEW GERMAN CRITIQUE Eshel, A. 2004: 57-77
  • Against the power of time: The poetics of suspension in W.G. Sebald's 'Austerlitz' NEW GERMAN CRITIQUE Eshel, A. 2003: 71-96
  • Wolfgang Hildesheimer's life as a Jew and a German (Book Review) GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Eshel, A. 2002; 25 (1): 193-194
  • Judaism and aesthetic sense MERKUR-DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHRIFT FUR EUROPAISCHES DENKEN Eshel, A. 2002; 56 (2): 162-168
  • Diverging memories? Durs Grunbein's mnemonic topographies and the future of the German past GERMAN QUARTERLY Eshel, A. 2001; 74 (4): 407-416
  • The 'Crime of Writing' (Book Review) MODERN HEBREW LITERATURE Book Review Authored by: Eshel, A. 2000: 41-43
  • "The rest remains": Essays on Judaism (Book Review) GERMANIC REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Eshel, A. 1998; 73 (4): 370-374