School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of Anthropology
BioPaulla Ebron joined the department in 1992. Ebron is the author of Performing Africa, a work based on her research in The Gambia that traces the significance of West African praise-singers in transnational encounters. A second project focuses on tropicality and regionalism as it ties West Africa and the U.S. Georgia Sea Islands in a dialogue about landscape, memory and political uplift. This project is entitled, "Making Tropical Africa in the Georgia Sea Islands."
Senior Vice Provost for Education, Vice President for the Arts, Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Emeritus
BioVice Provost for Undergraduate Education; Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities; Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow for Undergraduate Education; Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts. Harry J. Elam, Jr. is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities and the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University.
He is author of and editor of seven books, Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka; The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson (Winner of the 2005 Errol Hill Award from the American Society of Theatre Research); and co‑editor of four books, African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader; Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama; The Fire This Time: African American Plays for the New Millennium; and Black Cultural Traffic: Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture. His articles have appeared in American Drama, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly as well as journals in Israel, Taiwan and Poland and several critical anthologies. Professor Elam is also the former editor of Theatre Journal and on the editorial boards of Atlantic Studies, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and Modern Drama. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April 2006. In August 2006 he won the Betty Jean Jones Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society and in November 2006 he won the Distinguished Scholar Award form the American Society of Theatre Research. In July 2014, Elam received the Association of Theatre in Higher education’s highest award for theatre scholars, the Career Achievement Award.
In addition to his scholarly work, he has directed professionally for over twenty years: most notably, he directed Tod, the Boy Tod by Talvin Wilks for the Oakland Ensemble Company, and for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, he directed Jar the Floor by Cheryl West and Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleague, which was nominated for nine Bay Area Circle Critics Awards and was the winner of DramaLogue Awards for Best Production, Best Design, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Direction. He has directed several of August Wilson's plays, including Radio Golf, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Two Trains Running, and Fences, the latter of which won eight Bay Area “Choice” Awards.
At Stanford he has been awarded five different teaching awards: The ASSU Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Small Classes (1992); the Humanities and Sciences Deans Distinguished Teaching Award (1993); the Black Community Service Center Outstanding Teacher Award (1994), The Bing Teaching Fellowship for Undergraduate Teaching (1994-1997); The Rhodes Prize for Undergraduate Teaching (1998).
He received his AB from Harvard College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California Berkeley in 1984.
Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature
BioAmir 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.