Prof. Dr. Axel Stähler

Assoziierter Professor und Dozent für North American Literature and Culture und Literary Theory

North American Literature and Culture / Literary Theory

+41 31 684 84 17
Postal Address
Department of English
Länggassstr. 49
CH – 3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
By appointment (during COVID-19 restrictions): please email to arrange a Zoom meeting.

Axel Stähler joined the department in 2021. Before moving to Switzerland, he taught for fourteen years at the University of Kent at Canterbury, where he was most recently Full Professor of Comparative Literature and where he now holds an Honorary Professorship. Axel completed his PhD and his Habilitation at the University of Bonn, where he received the venia legendi for both American and English literatures and cultures. Before moving to the UK, he held appointments at the Universities of Bamberg, Bonn, and Münster and taught for Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. He was professeur invité at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and held a number of fellowships, among them a Dorot Fellowship and a Mellon Fellowship at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre at the University of Texas at Austin. Further awards include a Teaching Prize at the University of Kent (2015) and the 2016 Judaica Reference Award of the Association of Jewish Libraries for The Edinburgh Companion to Jewish Fiction, which he co-edited with David Brauner. Axel is a Research Fellow of the Leverhulme Trust and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (PGCHE). He is a member of the Peer Review College of the AHRC and an Advisory Board member of the Bloomsbury’s book series Comparative Jewish Literatures as well as a member of the international Research Committee on Religion, Ethics, and Literature (International Comparative Literature Association).

Research Interests

Representations of the Holocaust in American literature and culture, Modern Jewish literature in North America, the Anglophone world, Israel, and Germany, Zionism and literature, Constructions of the American West, Fundamentalism and American literature, American crime fiction, American graphic novels, Colonialism and postcolonial literature, Intermediality 

Spring Semester 2021

  • Constructions of the American West (BA and MA Lecture)
  • The Holocaust in American Literature, Film, and Culture (BA Seminar Literature)
  • Prize Winners (MA Seminar)
  • (with Prof. Thomas Claviez) BA Colloquium North American Literature II

Recent publications (selection):

  • Zionism, the German Empire, and Africa: Jewish Metamorphoses and the Colors of Difference (Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter, 2018)
  • The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction, co-ed. with David Brauner (Edinburgh: EUP, 2015); awarded the 2016 Judaica Reference Award of the Association of Jewish Libraries
  • “Between or Beyond? Jewish British Short Stories in English since the 1970s”, Humanities 9.3 (2020): article no. 110. Pp. 18. Online; open access:
  • “Screaming ‘Black’ Murder: Crime Fiction and the Construction of Ethnic Identities”, English Studies 100 (2019): 43–62


For further publications, see:

ORCID iD:  0000-0002-2044-9687

Current research projects (selection):

  • “Jerusalem Destroyed: Literature, Art, and Music in Nineteenth-Century Europe”, funded in 2018–19 by a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust.
  • “Alternate Histories of Jewish Statehood”
  • “Dramatic Representations of the Blood Libel”