Research

In my research of twentieth-century Hebrew literature, I uncover and interpret the cross-cultural and cross-linguistic exchanges that have enabled the formation of a national Hebrew culture. I have published several articles concerning the early modernist poet Avraham Ben Yitzhak (Sonne) and his self-translations among Hebrew, German, and Yiddish. From the German side, I have written about the poet Paul Celan’s engagement with the theoretical premises of the Buber-Rosenzweig Bible translation into German (forthcoming in Comparative Literature). My second book, in progress, concerns influential, yet often forgotten, translations between German and Hebrew in the first half of the twentieth century, arguing for the inseparability of scriptural and literary translation.

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An unpublished German poem by the poet Avraham Ben Yitzhak (source: The Central Zionist Archive, Jerusalem)

My first book, Golem: Modern War and Their Monsters, explores the mass appeal of this artificial clay monster in the German-speaking world around World War I, as well as the ongoing association of golem figures with war technologies in American and Israeli cultures. Drawing on archival sources and print media, the book maintains that in the twentieth century the golem became both a metaphor for modern war and its weapons and—often at the same time—a powerful reminder of human vulnerability and mortality.

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Panel from Marvel’s Strange Tales comic book, published in 1974