Orcid: 0009-0007-6893-4204​

Prof. Arieh Saposnik is Associate Professor at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. Before coming to BGU, Saposnik held the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA, where he was also the founding director of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

Saposnik has held visiting positions at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin, and at Arizona State University (where he also held a faculty position). He is the recipient of fellowships from the America-Israel Cooperative Enterprise, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University.

Saposnik is a historian of Zionism and Jewish nationalism, interested, in the broader context, in the construction of national cultures and identities in the modern world. He is the author of Becoming Hebrew: The Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine, published by Oxford University Press. In his current research, Saposnik is working on imagery and symbolism of the sacred in the making of Jewish nationalism, and in Zionism and Israeli culture in particular. He is also studying competing notions of the link between Jews and territory in the modern world.


Selected publications:

·         “Contested Ignominies and Conflicting Sacralities: The Changing Faces of Zionism's Jerusalem", Miriam Elman and Madelaine Adelman eds., Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City, Syracuse University Press (forthcoming)

·         “History, Imagery, Memory: Contesting Israel in Scholarship and Beyond", NYU Press series Jewish Studies in the Twenty-First Century (Forthcoming)

·         “Succor for the Ailing Jewish Body: Images of Jewish Racial Degeneracy and Zionist Cultural Work in Palestine", Jana Evans Braziel and Joseph Young, eds., Erasing Public Memory: Race, Aesthetics, and Cultural Memory, Mercer University Press; 187-208

·         "קדושה ציונית מחולנת ביצירת עולמו של היהודי החדש", ישראל 16 (2009), עמ' 165-194

·         “Europe and its Orients in Zionist Culture before the First World War" The Historical Journal (Cambridge) 49:4 (December 2006), 1105-1123.

·         “Exorcising the 'Angel of National Death'—National and Individual Death (and Rebirth) in Zionist National Liturgy in Palestine, 1903-1914" Jewish Quarterly Review 95:3 (Summer 2005), 557-78.

·         “…Will Issue Forth From Zion"?—The Emergence of a Jewish National Culture in Palestine and the Dynamics of Yishuv-Diaspora Relations" Jewish Social Studies 10:1 (Fall 2003) pp. 151-184.

·         “Advertisement or Achievement? American Jewry and the Campaign for a Jewish Army, 1939-1944: A Reassessment", Journal of Israeli History 17:193-220.


Research Fields:

·         Jewish Nationalism

·         Construction of National Identities

·         Secularization and Re-Sacralization in Jewish Nationalism

·         Zionism and the Christian Holy Land

·         Zionism, Territorialism, and Competing Conceptions of the Jewish Nation


Selected Courses Taught:

·         Modern Middle Eastern Cultures: Making and Studying the Modern Middle East

·         Modern Israel: Politics, Society, Culture

·         Zionism: Ideology and Practice in the Making of a Jewish State

·         History, Memory and Identity in Israel

·         History and Institutions of the State of Israel

·         War & Peace in the Middle East: The Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian Conflicts

·         Introduction to the Study of Culture: Texts and their Contexts

·         Sex & Gender in Modern Jewish Culture

·         Antisemitism—A History of Hate

·         Breakdown and Renewal in Modern Jewish Culture