Forthcoming Book:

Golem, How He Came Into the World

Camden House German Film Classics

Maya Barzilai situates the 1920 film in the historical and social context of post-World War I Germany, taking into consideration Wegener’s violent and traumatic service on the Western front. She closely analyzes the film’s expressive sculptural aesthetic, enhanced through poetic cinematography, arguing that Wegener’s animation of cinema also served a postwar ethical purpose: revealing the human face of the golem and offering a redemptive escape from the Christian-Jewish conflict through nature on the one hand and Zionism on the other.





Golem: Modern Wars and Their Monsters

ISBN: 9781479889655

Find the book at

Winner of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award (AJS) in the category of Jewish Literature and Linguistics.

Honorable Mention, Salo Baron Book Prize (AAJR).

“Fascinating and well argued, Golem examines the modern incarnations of the old Jewish myth, tracking its many meanings as it crosses between generations and cultures, from the muddy trenches of WWI to the killing fields of science fiction. An indispensable text for anyone looking to understand our ongoing fascination with the golem figure, in all its malleable forms.” —Helene Wecker, The Golem & the Jinni

Reviewed by Simichi Cohen in In Geveb

Reviewed by Clive Sinclair in Times Literary Supplement:

Reviewed by Temma Berg in Studies in American Jewish Literature


Selected Articles

“One Should Finally Learn How to Read This Breath: Paul Celan and the Buber-Rosenzweig Bible.” Comparative Literature 71:4 (2019): 436–454.

“Translation on the Margins: Avraham Ben Yitzhak and Yoel Hoffmann.” The Journal of Jewish Identities 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 13 (2014): 177-192.

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

S. Y. Agnon’s German Consecration and the ‘Miracle’ of Hebrew Letters.” Prooftexts 33, no.1 (2013): 48-75.