Bio


Amir Eshel is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies, Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature; an Affiliated Faculty at The Europe Center at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His research focuses on the contemporary novel, twentieth century German culture, German-Jewish history and culture, and modern Hebrew literature. He is interested in the literary and cultural imagination as it addresses modernity’s traumatic past for its contemporary philosophical, political and ethical implications.

Recently, Amir Eshel completed a new book, 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 Yfaat Weiss he co-edited a book of essays on Barbara Honigmann, Kurz hinter der Wahrheit und dicht neben der Lüge (Fink Verlag (2013)). He is also the author of 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). In recent years, he also published essays on writers such as Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Paul Celan, W.G. Sebald, Günter Grass, Alexander Kluge, Durs Grünbein, Barbara Honigmann, Dan Pagis, S. Yizhar, and Yoram Kaniyuk.

Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1998 as an Assistant Professor of German Studies, he taught at the University of Hamburg, Germany. 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. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature, both from the University of Hamburg.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, German Studies
  • Professor, Comparative Literature

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


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