Bio / CV


I hold a B.A. degree in English literature and an M.A. degree in Comparative Literature, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley in 2009.

During my graduate studies, I was a DAAD fellow and participated in The Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, both at the Free University.

My research has been supported by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Association of Jewish Studies.



Maya Barzilai

Curriculum Vitae


University of Michigan, Department of Middle East Studies and Frankel Center for Judaic Studies (appointed), Germanic Languages and Literatures (affiliated), Comparative Literature (affiliated)

2019—  Associate Director, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

2017— Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew and Jewish Culture

2009-2017 Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew and Jewish Culture


2009 Ph.D.    University of California, Berkeley, Comparative Literature

2002, M.A.    Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Comparative Literature, Magna cum Laude

1999, B.A.      Hebrew University of Jerusalem, English and Honors Program, Magna cum Laude


Book Manuscript:

Golem: Modern Wars and Their Monsters. NYU Press, October 2016.

—Winner: Jordan Schnitzer Book Prize in Literature and Linguistics, 2017.

—Honorable mention: Salo Baron First Book Prize, 2016.

 Peer-Reviewed Essays:

“‘One Should Finally Learn How to Read This Breath’: Paul Celan and the Buber-Rosenzweig Bible,” Comparative Literature. 71.4, 2019. 436-454.

“The Lost German City: Leah Goldberg’s Berlin,” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature. 30, 2019. 143-168 [Hebrew].

“Translation on the Margins: Avraham Ben Yitzhak and Yoel Hoffmann.” The Journal of Jewish Identities. Volume 7:1, 2014. 109-128.

“Witnessing Dying in the Tongue of Revival: Shaul Tchernikhovsky’s World War I Poetry.” Yearbook of the Simon Dubnow Institute. Volume 13, 2014. 177-192.

“S. Y. Agnon’s German Consecration and the ‘Miracle’ of Hebrew Letters.” Prooftexts. Volume 33:1, 48-75.

“A Poetics of Statelessness: Avraham Ben Yitzhak after World War I.” Naharaim: Journal of German Jewish Literature and Cultural History. Volume 7:1-2, 2013. 111-130.

“Reading Camera Lucida in Gaza: Ronit Matalon’s Photographic Travels.” Comparative Literature. Volume 65:2, 2013. 200-219.

“The Challenge of Lyric Address in War Poems by Yitzhak Laor and Ingeborg Bachmann,” co-authored with Katra Byram. The Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature. Volume 53, 2007. 155-168.

Book Chapters:

“Humanizing Shylock: The Jewish ‘Type’ in Weimar Film,” Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Cinema, Berghahn Books, forthcoming in 2020.

“The Flowers of Shame: Avraham Ben Yitzhak’s Hebrew-German ‘Revival’.” The German-Hebrew Dialogue: Studies of Encounter and Exchange, edited by Amir Eshel and Rachel Seelig. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018. 41-60.

“Melancholia as World History: W. G. Sebald’s Rewriting of Hegel in Die Ringe des Saturn.” W. G. Sebald and the Writing of History. Eds. Anne Fuchs and J. J. Long. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007. 73-90.

“Facing the Past and the Female Specter in W. G. Sebald’s The Emigrants.” In W. G. Sebald – A Critical Companion. Eds. J. J. Long and Anne Whitehead. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004. 203-216.


2017                          The Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the Category of Literature and Linguistics, Association for Jewish Studies

2012-2013               Year-Long Fellowship, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

2012                          National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend

2007                         Horst Frenz Prize for the best graduate student presentation at the annual American Comparative Literature Association convention

2003-2008             Berkeley Fellowship for Graduate Study

2007-2008             Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Free University of Berlin and German Studies Association, Doctoral Research Fellowship


“Kafka’s Hebrew Castle: The Knot of Theatrical Translation” (co-authored with Na’ama Rokem), School of Cultural Studies, Tel Aviv University, December 2019.

“Wartime Golems,” The Singer Family Lecture, The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, University of Oregon, March 2019.

“The Sorrows of Translation: German-Hebrew Negotiations in the Yishuv,” Linguistic Homelands: Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and German, University of Chicago, November 2018.

“Golem: A Modern War Metaphor,” Forum for Scholars and Publics, Duke University, February 2017.

“Prophetic Decomposition: Mizraḥi Poetry and Eziekel’s Visions,” Prophetic Imaginings: Aesthetics, Ethics, Hermeneutics, Stanford University, California, May 2016.


“‘The Poem is unterwegs’: Paul Celan and David Rokeah’s Translational Correspondence,” Celan /  69, Minerva Institute for German History, Tel Aviv University, December 2019.

“Last Translations: Gershom Scholem’s Renditions of S. Y. Agnon’s Polish Tales,” Association of Jewish Studies Conference, Boston, December 2018.

“Denk dir: Paul Celan’s German-Hebrew Negotiations and the 67’ War,” 11th Annual Midwest Symposium in German Studies, Columbus, April 2018.

“‘A Shylock or a Judas’: Jewish Typecasting in Weimar Film,” German Studies Association Conference, Atlanta, October 2017.

“‘Her Face Was Not Quotable’: Approaching Ronit Matalon’s Surrealism,” Association of Jewish Studies Conference, San Diego, December 2016.

“Hebrew-German Monolingualism: Lingual Contradictions in Novels by S. Y. Agnon and Leah Goldberg,” American Comparative Literature Association Convention, Harvard University, March 2016.

“The Golem of New York: Popular Culture for Jewish Immigrants,” Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Austin, TX, January 2016.

“The Hebrew Metropolis: Leah Goldberg and David Fogel,” Diaspora in Modern Hebrew Literature, University of Cambridge, May 2015.

“Banished from the Socialist Garden: H. Leivick’s Distopic Yiddish Drama,” Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe, Tulane University, February 2013.


Association of Jewish Studies

American Comparative Literature Association

German Studies Association

National Association of Professors of Hebrew