Simone Stirner

German, Hebrew, French
20th and 21st centuries

Research Areas

Memory studies, critical theory, poetry, transnationalism, German-Jewish thought, theories of reading, contemporary memory cultures in Germany.


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, with a Designated Emphasis (DE) both in Critical Theory and in Jewish Studies. My research focuses on German modernism in dialogue with Hebrew and French language traditions, with particular interests in poetry and poetics, transnational modernism, theories of reading, German-Jewish thought, and memory studies.

My dissertation project brings Paul Celan in dialogue with poets from Dan Pagis to May Ayim to show how poetic writing through formal means such as fragmentation, semantic indeterminacy, or rhythm can generate readerly practices of patience, hesitation, susceptibility, and solidarity—forms of “ethical attention,” I argue, that counter the violent logic of “concentration” inherent to the "concentrationary universe."

At Berkeley, I have taught undergraduate seminars on German Pop-Culture and Advanced Conversation and Composition Classes in the German Department. In the Department of Comparative Literature, I taught college writing classes on topics such as "Arts of Memory," "Architecture and Literature," and "On Borders."

My writing appears in New Literary History and Qui Parle.