Amit Levy

Amit Levy
Research Fellow 2016-17


Amit Levy is a doctoral student at the Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received the Jacob L. Talmon Prize for excellence in his M.A. Studies. Amit’s research interests are German Orientalism and the history of interlingual encounters. His MA Thesis, submitted to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, examined the life and work of German-Jewish orientalist Martin Meir Plessner (1900-1973). 


Research Project

In his PhD project, Amit studies the transplantation of German-Jewish Orientalism from Germany to Palestine/Israel, focusing on the intellectuals at the School of Oriental Studies. Born and educated in Germany, these scholars’ encounter with the Orient was on a textual basis. During the 1920s and 30s, many of them immigrated to Palestine and formed the School of Oriental Studies at the Hebrew University, the first Western Oriental institute in Palestine. By doing so, their encounter with the Orient was transformed into a living encounter, which was also heavily influenced by the ever-intensifying Arab-Jewish conflict. Amit’s study seeks to examine the consequences of this transformation - on the said scholars’ research interests and methodology, professional perceptions, political outlook, and the connection between all these fields. The project is based on a rich corpus of archival documents from various archives and institutions in Israel and abroad; some of the materials have also been sorted and cataloged by Amit, in the framework of the joint project of the FRMRC and DLA Marbach, Traces and Treasures of German-Jewish History in Israel.


Selected Publications

- ”A Man of Contention: Martin Plessner (1900–1973) and His Encounters with the Orient,” Naharaim 10.1 (2016). [Forthcoming]

- "'The Sheik': Understanding American Orientalism through Visual and Narrative Differences in Three Decades of Discussion,” Slil 10 (Winter 2016), pp. 39-57. [IN HEBREW]

- "'Ma'alesh, Nistader': Arabic in the Folklore of the Palmach during the 1940s,” Hayo Haya 11 (Autumn 2015), pp. 46-66. [IN HEBREW]