Joseph Pearson is a writer and historian, author of the books My Grandfather’s Knife (HarperCollins, The History Press, forthcoming 2022) and Berlin (Reaktion Press, 2017), and recipient of the 2020 Jacob Zilber Second Prize for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in the New England Review, AGNI, PRISM International and many other publications. Since 2014, he has been the essayist of the Schaubühne Theatre. He lectures in Berlin at a German university, the Barenboim-Said Akademie.


1994 The United World College of the Adriatic, Duino, Italy.

1998 MPhil European Studies, University of Cambridge, UK.

2001 PhD History, University of Cambridge, UK.

Work Background


Positions at international organisations, mostly as a press attaché (the United Nations Development Program in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; the European Commission in Brussels; and an OSCE Project in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). 


Return to writing, history, and university lecturing (Columbia University’s Core Curriculum and New York University). Since 2017, lecturer at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, which brings together artists from the Middle East in the interest of peace.


Odds and Ends

Co-Founder of theAgosto Arts Collective.

Fluent in English, German, French, and Italian. Reasonably bad Arabic.

Likes to paint watercolour illustrations to go along with the writing but is afraid they are rather amateurish.

Literary and Broadcast Inquiries

Joseph Pearson is represented by Peters Fraser Dunlop Agency in London. 

Professional inquiries may be directed to his agent:

Annabel Merullo
55 New Oxford Street

T: +44(0)20 7344 1000
F: +44(0)20 7836 9539


Academic and Other Inquiries

Please see his faculty page at the Barenboim-Said Academy or use the social media links above.