Yael Zerubavel



Books Authored

Desert in the Promised Land (Stanford University Press, in press December 2018)

Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition        
University of Chicago Press, 1995
    Paperback edition, University of Chicago Press, 1997
    Winner of the 1996 Salo Baron Prize of the American Academy for Jewish Research


Biblical Reenactments and the Performance of Antiquity in Israeli Culture [work in progress]


“Putting Numbers into Space: Place Names and Collective Remembrance in Israeli Culture,” in Taking Stock: Cultures of Enumeration in Contemporary Jewish Life, edited by Michal Kravel-Tovi and Deborah Dash Moore. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016, 69-92

“’Numerical Commemoration and the Challenges of Collective Remembrance in Israel,” History and Memory 26, 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 5-38. Hebrew version: “Hantsaha misparit ve-shiyum he-avar: zikaron ve-shikhekha ba-merhav ha-tziburi be’israel,” in Majority-Minority Relations: Memory and Oblivion in Geographical Place Names, eds. Amer Dahamshe and Yossi Schwartz. Tel Aviv: Resling (191-223)

Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film,” in Deeper than Oblivion: Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema, edited by Raz Yosef and Boaz Hagin. New York & London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 299-327.

Ha’tanakh akhshav: Ikh’shuv, satira politit ve’zikaron le’umi” [“The Bible Now: Contemporizing, Political Satire, and National Memory”], Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature, 25 (Summer 2013 [in Hebrew].

“Transforming Myths, Contested Narratives: The Reshaping of Mnemonic Traditions in Israeli Culture,” in National Myths: Constructed Pasts, Contested Presents, edited by Gérard Bouchard. London: Routledge, 2013, 173-90.

"Ha’hazara el ha’tanakh: Ha’tiyul ve’zikhron ha’avar ba’siah ha’tayaruti be’israel" [“Back to the Bible: Hiking in the Land as a Mnemonic Practice in Contemporary Israeli Tourist Discourse”], in History and Memory: Essays in Honor of Anita Shapira, edited by Meir Hazan and Uri Cohen. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2012, vol. 2, 497- 522 [in Hebrew].

“Coping with the Legacy of Death: The War Widow in Israeli Films,” in Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion, edited by Miri Talmon and Yaron Peleg. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011, 84-95.

"The Conquest of the Desert and the Settlement Ethos," in The Desert Experience in Israel: Communities, Arts, Science, and Education in the Negev, edited by A. Paul Hare and Gideon Kressel. Lanham: The University Press of America, 2009, 33-44.

“The Desert and the Settlement as Symbolic Landscapes in Modern Israeli Culture,” in Jewish Topographies Visions of Space, Traditions of Place, edited by Julia Brauch, Anna Lipphardt, and Alexandra Nocke. Heritage, Culture and Identity Series. London and Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2008, 201-22.

“Memory, the Rebirth of the Native, and the ‘Hebrew Bedouin’ Identity,” Social Research 75:1 (Spring 2008): 315-52.

“Antiquity and the Renewal Paradigm: Strategies of Representation and Mnemonic Practices in Israeli culture,” in On Memory: An Interdisciplinary Approach, edited by Doron Mendels. Bern: Peter Lang, 2007, 331-48.

“Patriotic Sacrifice and the Burden of Memory in Israeli Secular National Hebrew Culture,” in Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Ussama Makdisi and Paul A. Silverstein. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006, 77-100.

“Transhistorical Encounters in the Land of Israel: National Memory, Symbolic Bridges, and the Literary Imagination,” Jewish Social Studies 11:3 (Spring/ Summer 2005):115-40.

“The Politics of Remembrance and the Consumption of Space: Masada in Israeli Memory,” in Narrating The Nation In Public Space: Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation, edited by Daniel Walkowitz and Lisa Maya Knauer, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004, 233-52.

Krav, hakrava, korban: Hemshekhiyut ve-shinui bi-tefisat ha-gevurah hapatriotit be-Israel” [Battle, Sacrifice, and Martyrdom: Continuity and Change in the Conception of Patriotic Sacrifice in Israeli Culture] in Patriotism, edited by Avner Ben-Amos and Daniel Bar-Tal. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad & Dyonon, 2004, 61-99 [in Hebrew].

Ha-midbar ke-merhav miti ukhe-atar zikaron ba-tarbut ha-ivrit,” [The Desert as a Mythical Space and Site of Memory in Hebrew Culture”], in Myths in Judaism, edited by Moshe Idel and Ithamar Gruenwald. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2004, 223-36 [in Hebrew].

“Bar Kokhba’s Image In Modern Israeli Culture,” in The Bar Kokhba War Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome, edited by Peter Schäfer, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003; Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 100: 279-97.

Female Images in a State of War: Ideology, Crisis, and the Politics of Gender in Israel,” in Landscaping the Human Garden: 20th Century Population Management in a Comparative Framework,” edited by Amir Weiner. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003, 236-57.

The Mythological Sabra and Jewish Past: Trauma, Memory, and Contested Identities ,” Israel Studies, vol 7, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 115-44.

Rachel and the Female Voice: Labor, Gender, and the Zionist Pioneer Vision ,” History and Literature: New Readings of Jewish Texts in Honor of Arnold J. Band, Edited by William Cutter and David C. Jacobson. Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2002, 303-17.

“Revisiting the Pioneer Past: Continuity and Change in Hebrew Settlement Narratives” Hebrew Studies 41 (2000): 209-24.

“Le héros national: un monument collectif. Tradition et politiques de commemoration” [“The National Hero as a Collective Monument: Tradition and the Politics of Commemoration”] in La fabrique des héros, La Mission du patrimoine ethnologique, Collection ethnologie de la France, cahier 12. Paris: édition de la maison des sciences de l’homme, 1998, 167-79 [in French].

"A Window Onto a `Vanished World': Sephardic Salvage Fiction and the Rhetoric of Commemoration," in From Iberia to Diaspora: Studies in Sephardic History and Culture, edited by Yedida Stillman, Leiden: Brill, 1998, 362-76.

Masa be-merhavei ha-zeman veha-merhav: sifrut agadit kemakhshir le’itsuv zikaron kibutsi,” [Travels in time and space: Legendary literature as a vehicle for shaping collective memory]. Te’oria U’vikoret 10 (Summer 1997): 69-80 [in Hebrew].

The Forest as a National Icon: Literature, Politics, and the Archeology of Memory,” Israel Studies 1, no. 1 (Spring 1996): 60-99.

“Documenting Israeli Folk Culture,” in Documenting Israel, ed. by Charles Berlin. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995, 167-82.

“The Multivocality of a National Myth: Memory and Counter-Memories of Masada,” Myth and Memory in the Shaping of Israel, in special issue edited by Robert S. Wistrich and David Ohana, Israel Affairs 1, 3 (1995): 110-28; reissued as a book, London: Frank Kass, 1995.

"The Death of Memory and the Memory of Death: Masada and the Holocaust as Historical Metaphors," in Representations 45 (Winter 1994): 72-100.

Mot ha-zikaron ve-zikhron ha-mavet: Metsada veha-sho’a ke-metaforot historiot,” Alpayim 10 (1994):42-67 (Hebrew version of the above).

"The Historical, the Legendary, and the Incredible: Invented Tradition and Collective Memory in Israel," in Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity, edited by John R. Gillis. Princeton University Press, 1994, 105-23.

Bein `historia’ le-`agada’: Gilgulei Tel Hai ba-zikaron ha-amami,” in Mitos Ve’historia, edited by David Ohana and Robert Wistrich.  Van Leer Institute and Hakkibutz Hameuchad, 1996, 135-148 (Hebrew version of the above).

"New Beginning, Old Past: The Collective Memory of Pioneering in Israeli Culture," in New Perspectives on Israeli History, ed. by Laurence J.  Silberstein. New York University Press, 1991, 193-215.

"The Politics of Interpretation: Tel Hai in Israeli Collective Memory," AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) Review 16 (1991): 133-60.

"Reconstructions of the Past: Syrian Jewish Women and the Maintenance of Tradition," Journal of American Folklore 100 (1987): 528-39 (with Dianne Esses).

"The Holiday Cycle and the Commemoration of the Past: Folklore, History, and Education," Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1986, 4:111-18.

"The Recovery of Masada: A Study in Collective Memory," Sociological Quarterly 27(1986): 147-64 (with Barry Schwartz and Bernice M. Barnett).

"The `Wandering Israeli' in Contemporary Israeli Literature," Contemporary Jewry, 7(1986): 127-40.

Short Essays

“The Seed, the Symbol, and the Zionist Renewal Paradigm,” in “Israeli Histories, Societies and Cultures, Frankel Institute Annual 2017, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 30-32.

“A Secular Return to the Bible? Reflections on Israeli Society, National Memory, and the Politics of the Past,” in “The Secular Issue,” Association for Jewish Studies Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies, Spring 2011, 30-31.

“Desert in Modern Judaism, The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Boston: De Gruyter, 2010.

Mitosim ve-itsuvo shel zikaron kibutsi ba-tartubt ha-yisraelit,” [Myths and the Shaping of Israeli Collective Memory], in New Jewish Time – Jewish Culture in a Secular Age - An Encyclopedic View, Editor in Chief: Yirmiyahu Yovel, Initiator, director and editor: Yair Tzaban, General Editor: David Shaham, Keter Publishing House, Israel 2007 [in Hebrew].

Hantsahat ha-noflim veha’nechonut le-hakrava: Temurot ba-asorim ha-ahronim [The Commemoration of Fallen Soldiers and the Readiness for Sacrifice: Recent Transformations]. Ariel nos. 171-172, October 2005): 63-66 [in Hebrew].

“Unsettling Present, Uncertain Future,” in Israel at 50, 1948-1998: A Symposium. The American Jewish Committee, 1998, 88-93.

“From Blooming Desert to Shattered Myths: Reflections on Contemporary Israeli Culture,” in Desert Cliché: Israel Now -- Local Images. Exhibit catalog, Miami Beach: The Israeli Forum of Art Museums & Bass Museum of Art, 1996, 27-31 [English]; 111-14 [Hebrew].

"A Taste of Tradition: The Study of Middle Eastern Jewish Food in Brooklyn," Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review 9 (1987): 37-39.

"The Story of a Journey," In The Spirit of Aleppo: Syrian Jewish Immigrant Life in New York, 1890-1939. Exhibit catalog, Brooklyn: Sephardic Archives, 1986, 19 pages (with Dianne Esses).

Book Reviews

Kardom la’khpor bo: Arceologia ul’umiyut be’israel [Archeology and Nationalism in Eretz Israel], edited by Michael Feige and Zvi Shiloni. (Ben-Gurion Institute for Zionism, University of Ben-Gurion, 2008) in Zion 76, 1 (2011): 112-16 [in Hebrew].

Dialogic Moments: From Soul Talks to Talk Radio in Israeli Culture by Tamar Katriel. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2004, in Association for Jewish Studies Review 32, 1 (Spring 2008): 199-201.

“"Ha’andarta’ot la’noflim: Tarbut ha’hantsaha ba’hevra ha’yisraelit” [Monuments for Fallen Soldiers: The Culture of Commemoration in Israel] by Ilana Shamir, Cathedra 94 (1999): 182-84 [in Hebrew].

 “The Ethnography of Diaspora: Studying Syrian Jewry,” in Contemporary Jewry 19 (1998): 175-79.

Reprinted Works

“From Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition,” in The Collective Memory Reader, Edited by Jeffrey K. Olick, Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and Daniel Levy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 237-41.

“Die israelische Kriegswitwe,” in Frauen, Jüdischer Almanach, Leo Baekck Instititue, Fall 2006, 111-23. (An abridged German translation of “Female Images in a State of War: Ideology, Crisis, and the Politics of Gender in Israel,” in Landscaping the Human Garden: 20th Century Population Management in a Comparative Framework, edited by Amir Weiner, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003, 236-57).

Bein `historia’ le-`agada’: Gilgulei Tel Hai ba-zikaron ha-amami” [Between History and Legend: The Transformation of Tel Hai in Popular Memory], in Le-Hamtsi Umma: Antologia, edited by Yossi Dahan and Henry Wasserman, Tel Aviv: The Open University, 2006, 199-216 (Reprinted from Mitos ve-Historia [Myth and History], edited by David Ohana and Robert Wistrich.  Van Leer Institute and Hakkibutz Hameuchad, 1996, 135-48)

“The Dynamics of Collective Remembering,” in Ab Imperio 3 (2004): 71-90 (Russian translation of Chapter One of Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).

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