Howard Eiland

Howard Eiland


Howard Eiland received the 2011 James A. and Ruth Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He is the co-author, with Michael W. Jennings, of the first English-language biography of Walter Benjamin, an influential German writer who died in 1940 while in flight from the Nazis. He co-edited three volumes of Benjamin’s Selected Writings and co-translated Benjamin’s massive Arcades Project, and he has also translated Benjamin’s Berlin Childhood around 1900, his On Hashish, and his Early Writings: 1910-1917. His recent publications include work on film and jazz. Current projects are “Walter Benjamin’s Jewishness” and “Education as Awakening.”

Twentieth-century literature and philosophy, critical theory, film, jazz


Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, with Michael W. Jennings (Harvard University Press, 2014), 755 pp.


Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, vols. 2-4
Harvard University Press, 1999-2003
with Michael Jennings and Gary Smith


Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project
Harvard University Press, 1999
with Kevin McLaughlin

Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood around 1900
Harvard University Press, 2006

Walter Benjamin, On Hashish
Harvard University Press, 2006

Walter Benjamin, Early Writings, 1910-1917
Harvard University Press, 2011

Selected Articles

“Bellow’s Crankiness,” Chicago Review (Spring 1981): 92-107.

“Heidegger’s Etymological Web,” boundary 2 (Winter 1982): 39-58.

“Beyond Psychology: Heidegger on Nietzsche,” The Kenyon Review (Winter 1984): 74-86.

“Nietzsche’s Jew,” Salmagundi (Winter-Spring 1985): 104-117.

“The Novel in the Age of Terminal Paradoxes,” The Gettysburg Review (Autumn 1988): 708-722.

“The Pedagogy of Shadow: Heidegger and Plato,” boundary 2 (Winter-Spring 1989): 13-39.

“Jazz Notes,” Shuffle Boil (Winter 2003): 3-9.

“Reception in Distraction,” boundary 2 (Spring 2003): 51-66. Reprinted in Walter Benjamin and Art, ed. Andrew Benjamin (London: Continuum, 2005): 3-13. Spanish translation 2010.

“Notes on Film,” Telos (Spring 2005): 141-164.

“Notes on Eric Dolphy,” Shuffle Boil (Summer 2006): 51-59.

“Superimposition in Benjamin’s Arcades Project,Telos (Spring 2007): 121-138.

“Allegories of Falling,” Telos (Summer 2011): 175-190.

Subjects taught the current academic year:


Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante (Fall 2013)

21L.004 Reading Poetry (Spring 2014)

21L.485 Modern Fiction (Spring 2014)

21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Kafka (Fall 2013)