Amir Eshel is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies. He is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature and as of 2019 Director of Comparative Literature and its graduate program. His Stanford affiliations include The Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Modern Thought & Literature, 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 philosophy, specifically on memory, history, political thought, and ethics.

Amir Eshel is the author of Poetic Thinking Today (Stanford University Press, 2019); German translation at Suhrkamp Verlag, 2020). 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.

Amir Eshel’s poetry includes a 2018 book with the artist Gerhard Richter, Zeichnungen/רישומים, a work which brings together 25 drawings by Richter from the clycle 40 Tage and Eshel’s bi-lingual poetry in Hebrew and German. In 2020, Mossad Bialik brings his Hebrew poetry collection בין מדבר למדבר, Between Deserts.

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, Comparative Literature
  • Professor, German Studies
  • Professor, Comparative Literature

Program Affiliations

  • Modern Thought and Literature
  • Philosophy and Literature


  • Poetic Media Lab, CESTA, Stanford University

    The Poetic Media Lab is a Digital Humanities research and design group based in the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford. We design and build creative platforms that promote new ways of conducting research, teaching, and learning in the 21st century.


    Stanford, CA

  • The Contemporary, Stanford University

    A workshop to examine present-day society, culture, and politics with a focus on defining moments such as: 1945, 1973, 1989, 2001 and 2020. In recent years the concept of the contemporary has been taken up within limited disciplinary discourses and in the context of distinct geographical settings. The horizon of this workshop, however, is the global. We employ a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the hybrid term “contemporary” as it intersects various fields and serves as a heuristic device to understand phenomena in politics, culture, and the arts.


    Stanford, CA

2023-24 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
  • Judaism and aesthetic sense MERKUR-DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHRIFT FUR EUROPAISCHES DENKEN Eshel, A. 2002; 56 (2): 162-168
  • 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
  • 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