People

Aya Elyada

Dr. Aya Elyada

Department Chair
Humanities Building, Room 6507.
02-5883765

I am a senior lecturer at the History Department, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My fields of interest are German and German-Jewish history and culture; Christian-Jewish relations; the history of the Yiddish-German encounter; and the social and cultural history of language and translation.

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 Before joining the Hebrew University in 2012 I spent five years as a visiting PhD student at the University of Munich, and another three years as a visiting post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. My book, A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany, appeared in 2012 with Stanford University Press. The book explores the unique and unlikely phenomenon of “Christian Yiddishism” in early modern Germany, namely the Christian interest in and engagement with Yiddish language and literature from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century. It explains why some Christians were preoccupied with Yiddish and discusses the various ways in which they depicted this Jewish language and literature in their writings. In the process, it sheds light on the broader linguistic, theological, cultural, and social concerns of early modern Christian authors and their intellectual environment.

My current project explores the cultural history of German translations of Yiddish literature from the sixteenth century and up to the present day.

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Ofer Ashkenazi

Prof. Ofer Ashkenazi

Director of the Koebner Minerva Center for German History
Humanities Building, Room 6508.
02-5883776

Ofer Ashkenazi is Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Koebner-Minerva Center for Germany History.

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He is the author of the monographs "Anti-Heimat Cinema: The Jewish Invention of the German Landscape" (2020); "Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity" (2012); and "A Walk into the Night: Reason and Subjectivity in Weimar Film" (2010). He published articles on a variety of topics in German and German-Jewish history, including on the interwar German peace movement; German-Jewish emigres in Palestine; and the discussion of Heimat and otherness in contemporary German culture. His current research project considers Jewish photography under Nazism.

 

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Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten

Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten

Rabin Building, Room 4006. Office Hours: Wednesday, 10:00-12:00

Elisheva Baumgarten’s research focuses on the Jewish communities of medieval Germany and northern France. She is a social historian  who uses gender methodology and comparative methods to examine the daily life of medieval Jews within their Christian surroundings. Her work has examined family life, life-cycle rituals, education, midwifery and piety.

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Her first book was Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe (Princeton University Press, 2004; Hebrew publication: Zalman Shazar Center, 2006).

Her second book, Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz: Men, Women and Everyday Religious Observance (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) focuses on how the daily activities of medieval Jews expressed their gendered and religious identities. She has edited several collections of essays on medieval Jewish life and on gender and Jewish studies, and she is currently writing a social history of medieval Jewish marriage in northern Europe.

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Prof. Yitzhak Brudny

Prof. Yitzhak Brudny

Social Scienses Building, Room 4317.
02-5883769

Prof. Brudny teaches at the department of political science and history. His main fields of interest include nationalism and ethnic conflicts; social movements, elections, political parties and political institutions in the former communist states of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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His books deal with the restructuring of post-communist Russia, and Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953-1991. 

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Prof. Raz Chen-Morris

Prof. Raz Chen-Morris

Humanities Building, Room 6513. Office Hours: Wednesday, 10:30-12:00

Raz Chen-Morris holds an M.A. (cum laude, in the history of medieval and Renaissance science) and a Ph.D. (2001) from Tel Aviv University. Throughout his studies Chen-Morris taught at several high schools and colleges, among them IASA High School in Jerusalem, The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Seminar Hakibbutzim. For From 2003-2014 he was a senior lecturer at the STS graduate program at Bar Ilan University. Today Chen-Morris is an associate professor in the History department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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He has published widely on Renaissance science, concentrating on Kepler’s optics. His major publications to date are: Measuring Shadows: Kepler's Optics of Invisibility ((University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2016). With Ofer Gal, Baroque Science ((Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013).  Together with Ofer Gal he edited Science in the Age of Baroque, International Archives of the History of Ideas, Dordrecht: Springer Verlag, 2012. Together with Hanan Yoran and Gur Zak, he edited a special issue of The European Legacy, (20:5, 2015) on  Humanism and the Ambiguities of Modernity.

Among his publications, one can note:  “Optics, Imagination, and the Construction of Scientific Observation in Kepler’s New Science”, The Monist (2001); “Shadows of Instruction: Optics and Classical Authorities in Kepler’s Somnium”, Journal for the History of Ideas (2005); “From Emblems to Diagrams: Kepler’s New Pictorial Language of Scientific Representation”, Renaissance Quarterly (2009); (With Ofer Gal) “Baroque Optics and the Disappearance of the Observer: From Kepler’s Optics to Descartes’ Doubt”,  Journal of the History of Ideas (2010); with Rivka Feldhay, "Framing the Appearances in the Fifteenth Century: Alberti, Cusa, Regiomontanus, and Copernicus" (2017); and more recently "Geometry and the Making of Utopian Knowledge in Early Modern Europe", in Nuncius 35:2 (forthcoming September, 2020).  

Currently his research is entitled “Geometry and the Making of Utopian Knowledge in Early Modern Europe”. The aim of this research project is to investigate the relationship of knowledge and especially practices of knowledge, Renaissance and Baroque poetics and political power in the crucial early stages of the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. This research project is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 312/20). 

Chen-Morris is married and has three children, living on the slopes of the Judean Hills over the Ella Valle.

 

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jonathan_dekel-chen

Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen

Rabin Building, Room 6003. Office hours (during school year): Wednesdays 10:30-12:00 or by appointment
02-5881948

Professor Jonathan Dekel-Chen is the Rabbi Edward Sandrow Chair in Soviet & East European Jewry at the Hebrew University. He holds a dual appointment in the Department of Jewish History and in the Department of General History.

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He served as the Academic Chairman of the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry from 2009-2015 and Chairman of the Russian Studies Department and Jewish History Department. Prof. Dekel-Chen has held visiting professorships and research fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania (2008-2009), Columbia University (2015-2016) and Rutgers University (2021-2022). His research and publications deal with the modern Jewish world, Applied Humanities, transnational philanthropy and advocacy, non-state diplomacy, agrarian history and migration.

In 2014 he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for gifted, under-served high school students from throughout Israel.

 


Selected Publications:

 

Farming the Red Land: Jewish Agricultural Colonization and Local Soviet Power, 1923-1941. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

 

Mahane meshutaf? Kooperatsiia b'hityashvut ha-yehudit ha-haklait be-Rusya u-beolam, 1890-1941. Jerusalem: Magnes Press & Yad Tebenkin Press, 2008.

 

Editor (with David Gaunt, Natan Meir, Israel Bartal), Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

 

Editor (with Eugene Avrutin and Robert Weinberg), Ritual Murder in Russia, Eastern Europe and Beyond: New Histories of an Old Accusation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.

 

“Putting Agricultural History to Work: Global Action Today from a Communal Past.” Featured article in: Agricultural History 94, no. 4 (2020): 512-544.

 

“A Response to R. Douglas Hurt, Ben Nobbs-Thiessen and Nahum Karlinsky.” Agricultural History 94, no. 4 (Fall 2020): 562-567.

 

“Israeli Reactions in a Soviet Moment: Reflections on the 1970 Leningrad Affair.” Kennan Cable #58. September 2020. 

           

“A Light unto the Nations? A Stalled Vision for the Future of the Humanities.” AJS Perspectives. Fall 2020, pp. 56-58.

 

“Transnational Intervention and its Limits: The Case of Interwar Poland.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 17, no. 3 (2018): 265-286.

 

“Between Myths, Memories, History and Politics: Creating Content for Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.” The Public Historian 40, no. 4 (2018): 91-106.

 

“Philanthropy, Diplomacy and Jewish Internationalism.” In: The Cambridge History of Judaism, Volume VIII: The Modern Period, c. 1815 – c. 2000. Edited by Mitchell Hart and Tony Michels. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

 

“Jewish Threads in the Fabric of International History.” In: International History in Theory and Practice. Edited by Barbara Haider-Wilson, William Godsey, Wolfgang Mueller, pp. 477-500. Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2017.

 

“Dueling Visions of Rebirth: Interwar Palestine versus Soviet Russia,” Journal of Jewish Identities 9, no. 2 (July 2016): 139-157.

 

“Rethinking Boundaries in the Jewish Diaspora from the FSU.” In: The New Jewish Diaspora: Russian-Speaking Immigrants in the United States, Israel and Germany. Edited by Zvi Gitelman, pp. 77-88. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016.

 

“Faith Meets Politics and Resources: Reassessing Modern Transnational Jewish Activism.” In: Purchasing Power: The Economics of Modern Jewish History. Edited by Rebecca Kobrin and Adam Teller, pp. 216-237. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

 

“Liberal Answers to the ‘Jewish Question’: Then and Now.” In: Church and Society in Modern Russia. Edited by Elise Wirtschafter and Manfred Hildermeier, pp. 133-156. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2015

 

“East European Jewish Migration: Inside and Outside,” East European Jewish Affairs 44, no. 3 (December 2014): 154-170.

 

"A Durable Harvest: Reevaluating the Russia-Israel Axis in the Jewish World." In: Bounded Mind and Spirit: Russia and Israel, 1880-2010. Edited by Brian Horowitz and Shai Ginsburg, pp. 109-129. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2013.

 

“Activism as Engine: Jewish Internationalism, 1880s-1980s.” In: Religious Internationals in the Modern World: Globalization and Faith Communities since 1750, pp. 269-291. Edited by Abigail Green and Vincent Viaene. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

 

“Crimea 2008: A Lesson about Uses and Misuses of History,” East European Jewish Affairs 39, no. 1 (April 2009): 101-105.

 

“‘New’ Jews of the Agricultural Kind: A Case of Soviet Interwar Propaganda,” Russian Review 66 (July 2007): 424-50.

 

“An Unlikely Triangle: Philanthropists, Commissars, and American Statesmanship Meet in Soviet Crimea, 1922-37.” Diplomatic History 27, no. 3 (2003): 353-376.

 

“Farmers, Philanthropists, and Soviet Authority: Rural Crimea and Southern Ukraine, 1923-1941.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 4, no. 4 (Fall 2003): 849-885.

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Dr. Ayelet Even-Ezra

Dr. Ayelet Even-Ezra

Humanities Building, Room 6514. Office Hours: Wednesday, 10:00-11:00

I am studying the intellectual and religious culture of the high Middle Ages, in search for ideas and modes of thought different from mine. In particular, I am attracted by the way medieval theologians attempted to provide rational explanations for Christian doctrinal issues, magic and the supernatural.

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This year I have completed a book addressing the way 13th century Parisian theologians analyzed altered states of consciousness, and in their discussions I find a continuous search for their own self definition as new knowledge agents in European society, among other "knowers of God": believers, philosophers and prophets. My current project delves into cognitive practices of medieval students, and especially visual thought. I spend, therefore, a lot of time looking for and looking at medieval manuscripts searching for personal notes and diagrams. I am fond of placing intellectual and scientific texts in the vibrant context of medieval universities, monasteries, politics, literature, architecture and music. The people of the high Middle Ages continue to surprise me with their vigor and originality, from writing highly complex  scholastic works, to intricate polyphinic music and cathedrals, from religious activism to chivalry.

I teach courses on monastic movements, heresies, perceptions of the supernatural, altered states of consciousness, medieval knowledge, the year 1215 and medieval Paris.

Publications:

 

*Ayelet Even-Ezra, Lines of Thought: Branching Diagrams and the Medieval Mind (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2021)

*Ayelet Even-Ezra, Ecstasy in the Classroom: Trance, Self, and the Academic Profession (New York: Fordham University Press; 2019) 

 

 

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Rotem Geva

Dr. Rotem Geva

Humanities Building, Room 6120. Office Hours: By appointment
02-5883580

Dr. Rotem Geva is a historian of South Asia concentrating on 20th-century India. Her research and teaching interests include colonialism, nationalism, territorial partitions and mass violence, and urban history.

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She received her PhD from the Department of History at Princeton University, and her M.A. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Her upcoming book is entitled Delhi Reborn: Partition and Nation Building in India’s Capital (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). It focuses on the history of Delhi during the years 1940-1955, exploring the city’s transformation under the pressures of the Second World War and the partition of India. Bridging studies of high politics with the ground-level experience of partition, it shows what the politics of the nation-state meant in everyday life. Dr. Geva teaches the survey course “Introduction to Modern India” as well as seminar courses on colonialism, gender and caste, the Cold War in South Asia, urban history, and a transnational history of twentieth century partitions.

                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

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Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Humanities Building, Room 6523
02-5883780

Harari originally specialized in world history, medieval history and military history.

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His current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?


Harari is the author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History.

Born in Israel in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002. In 2019, following the international success of his books, Yuval Noah Harari and Itzik Yahav co-founded Sapienship: a social impact company with projects in the fields of entertainment and education. Sapienship’s main goal is to focus the public conversation on the most important global challenges facing the world today.

 

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Reimund Leicht

Dr. Reimund Leicht

Ethel Backenroth Senior Lecturer In Medieval Jewish Studies
Rabin Building, Room 1208
Rabin Building, Room 1208

I am a senior lecturer at the History Department and the Department for Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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My fields of interest are the history of philosophy and science in Jewish cultures in the Middles Ages and early modern times within its context in the Islamicate and Christian Worlds, the intellectual history of the Jewish in late Antiquity, Christian-Jewish relations and Christian Kabbalah (Johannes Reuchlin) and the history of 19th-century Wissenschaft das Judentums (Science of Judaism). I am co-directing together with Prof. Giuseppe Veltri (Hamburg) the project for the construction of a digitized thesaurus of pre-modern Hebrew terminology in philosophy and science “PESHAT in Context” (www.peshat.org).

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Iris Nachum

Dr. Iris Nachum

Advisor to M.A. Students (Non-research Track)
Deputy Director of the Jacob Robinson Institute for the History of Individual and Collective Rights
Humanities Building, Room 6410.
Office Hours: Thursday, 11:00-12:00 (during the semester)

I am a historian of modern Central Europe with a special interest in compensation and restitution; liberalism and nationalism; ethnic conflict and expulsion. My research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary, covering history, political theory and law. Since September 2020, I serve as Deputy Academic Director of the Jacob Robinson Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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I hold a B.A. and M.A. degree in political science, and in 2017, I received my PhD from the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. The topic of my dissertation is the Sudeten German discourse on compensation in interwar Czechoslovakia, which I trace back to the national conflict between ethnic Germans and Czechs in the post-1848 Habsburg monarchy. The topic of my current book-length project is a West German compensation law called “Equalization of Burdens Law” (Lastenausgleichsgesetz). The main aim of this 1952 law was to compensate ethnic Germans who had been expelled or forced to flee from Central and Eastern Europe to Germany at the end of World War II. Compensation was for expulsion-related material damages and losses. I am especially interested in cases where expellees demanded redress for lost property which they had acquired in the context of “Aryanization”.

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Danny Orbach

Prof. Danny Orbach

Humanities Building, Room 6123. Office Hours: Monday, 15:00-16:00
02-5883554

 Dr. Danny Orbach is a military historian. A graduate of Harvard University, he specializes in the study of coups d'etat, political assassinations and military disobedience, and also in the dynamics of war crimes, military adventurism and the history of intelligence.

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His lastest books are The Plots against Hitler (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a study of the anti-Nazi resistance in the German army, and Curse on this Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan (Cornell University Press), on the culture of insubordination in the Japanese Imperial Army and the roots of the Pacific War. Currently, he is studying military adventurism in the East Asian sphere in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a co-author in projects on the dynamics of unplanned massacres and the transnational history of espionage in the twentieth century. He is also writing a book on Nazi intelligence veterans in the Cold War.

In addition, Danny Orbach runs "The Owl", a blog on politics and history in Hebrew, and the podcast "Triple Agent" on intelligence and espionage. He also contributes regularly to the Israeli media on issues of military history and national security.

 

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ronny

Dr. Ronny Regev

Room 6409, Humanities Building
02-5883729

My research focuses on modern U.S. history, with a particular interest in how the political economy and everyday life shape one another.

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I received my Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2013, where I subsequently worked as a lecturer for four years. In 2017, I joined the history department at the Hebrew University as an Assistant Professor. My first book, Working in Hollywood: How the Studio System Turned Creativity Into Modern Labor, was published in 2018 with UNC Press. My new project examines African American consumer culture in the first half of the 20th century. I teach courses on African American History, the history of Capitalism, American Consumer Culture, and Labor History

Link to my new book: Working in Hollywood: How the Studio System Turned Creativity into Labor (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018)

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Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky

Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky

Humanities Building, Room 6521. Office Hours: Monday, 13:00-14:00
02-5883778

Moshe Sluhovsky is a Proffessor in the Department of History. He has written a number of books and textbooks on religious history.

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including:

Patroness of Paris: Rituals of Devotion in Late Medieval and Early Modern France

“Believe not Every Spirit": Demonic Possession, Mysticism, and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism,

and five Hebrew textbooks on the Protestant and Catholic reformations and on magic and Popular Culture in early modern Europe for The Open University of Israel.

Publications:

 

2017    Becoming a New Self: Practices of Belief in Early Modern Catholicism (University of Chicago Press), 232 pp.

2019    (ed. and Introduction) Into the Dark Night and Back: The Mystical Writings of Jean-Joseph Surin (Leiden and New York: Brill), 548 pgs

2020    Co-editor (with Andreas Krass), Die Jüden von Cherut (Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich), 214 pp.

2020    Co-editor (with Aya Elyada and Christian Wiese), Jews and Protestants from the Reformation to the Present (Berlin: De Gruyter), 280 pp.

2021    Co-editor (with Andreas Krass), Queer Jewish Lives between Central Europe and Mandatory Palestine (Frankfurt: Transcript), 300 pp.

 

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Prof. Dror Wahrman

Prof. Dror Wahrman

Former Dean of the Faculty
Humanities Building, Room 6504. Office Hours: By appointment
02-5883887

I am a cultural historian of Western Europe in the transition from the pre-modern to the modern, with a focus on the "long" eighteenth century. Much of my work tries to understand what the terms in the previous sentence actually mean.

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What are the meaning and characteristics of modernity? How distant are we from our "pre-modern" or "early-modern" ancestors? In my work I try to take apart and then put together again some key narratives that the modern west tells about itself. My first book was about the rise of class society and especially the middle class; and the second, about the emergence of the modern individual or modern self. In both cases I asked where do these narratives come from and what in fact were the historical developments that stood behind them (which were not at all those they claimed to represent).

Subsequently my work, which had begun with a focus on Britain, and has since expanded to much of Europe, especially France, Holland, Venice and Germany, has gone in two directions. One, a recent book with Professor Jonathan Sheehan of the University of California-Berkeley, is about the question of where does order and harmony come from in a world where god is no longer believed to take active care of it itself: this book is titled Invisible Hands: Self Organization and the Eighteenth Century. The other direction is the interface between art and history. This resulted in a book on a mysterious Dutch painter and the print revolution (Mr. Collier's Letter Racks: A Tale of Art and Illusion at the Threshold of the Modern Information Age), and in my current book-project on the interpretation of an extraordinary complex object in the treasury of the Saxon princes.
My current work expands through the study of material objects and art to a global perspective on the early modern period .

In addition I have a separate interest in the history of Palestine and especially Jerusalem since the eighteenth century, and of photography in the Middle East.

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Prof. Alexander Yakobson

Prof. Alexander Yakobson

Humanities Building, Room 6520. Office Hours: Tuseday, 16:30-17:30
02-5883777

Alexander Yakobson teaches ancient (Graeco-Roman, mainly Roman) history. Main field of research: democracy, popular politics, political culture, elite vs. the populace, public opinion and elections in the ancient world, mainly in the late Roman Republic.

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Another field of research in ancient history: politics, official ideology and propaganda, public opinion and imperial family  in early Imperial Rome. 

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Naomi Yuval-Naeh

Dr. Naomi Yuval-Naeh

Academic Curator, Herbarium, The National Natural History Collections
Humanities Building, Room 6407
Office Hours: Monday, 10:00-11:00

I am a cultural historian with an ongoing interest in science, environment, and nature in the modern period. I am especially interested in the perceptions of nature in industrialized societies. I am captivated by the diverse ways modern societies maintain “nature” close at-hand,

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encapsulated either physically – in urban parks, nature reserves, or in urban window-boxes – or mentally, by imagining and reconstructing lost natural pasts. In addition, I am interested in botanical research and field explorations by Jewish scientists in mandatory Palestine and the early years of the state of Israel. In addition to my position at the History Department, I serve as an academic curator of the Herbarium of the National Natural History Collections. The collection includes more than 1.5 million specimens as well as a rich botanical library, botanical illustrations, and archival material. I am interested in advancing interdisciplinary approaches for collection-based research.I am currently working on two book projects. The first pursues the place of domestic plants in Victorian culture, and particularly focuses on the ways plants were perceived as individual living beings. My second project is a cultural history of coal in Victorian society, tentatively titled The Nature of Industry: Coal in 19 th -Century British Imagination. I earned my BSc from the Hebrew University (biology and “Amirim” honors’ program in the humanities) and MSc (Plant Studies). Subsequently, I completed my PhD in History of Science at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science in Tel Aviv University.

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