Peter Bergamin is Lecturer in Oriental Studies at Mansfield College, University of Oxford, after having gained his DPhil in Oriental Studies in 2016, under the supervision of Derek Penslar. His research focuses on the period of the British Mandate for Palestine, with a particular interest in Maximalist-Revisionist Zionism. In addition to his teaching, he co-convenes, with Yaacov Yadgar, the Reconsidering Early Jewish Nationalist Ideologies Seminar. He also sits on the Academic Council of the European Association of Israel Studies.
His first monograph, The Making of the Israeli Far-Right: Abba Ahimeir and Zionist Ideology (Bloomsbury-I.B. Tauris, 2020), focused on the ideological and political genesis of one of the major leaders of pro-Fascist, Far-Right Zionism, in the 1920s and 30s. He recently completed a second monograph that examined British archival sources, in order to suggest reasons for Britain’s premature withdrawal from its Palestine Mandate. He is currently engaged in cataloguing the works of the British Zionist, Paul Goodman.
In the future, he hopes to combine his previous experience as a musician with his current research interests, in projects that will examine the effects of antisemitism on Gustav Mahler’s directorship of the Vienna Court Opera, and antisemitic characterisations in the operas of Richard Wagner.
Myrna Martin completed her DPhil in History at the University of Oxford in 2020. Her thesis, Walls and Gates: Jewish Ghettos and the Built Environment in Ferrara, Florence, and Modena (c. 1750-1840), is an innovative exploration of how Italian ghettos and their Jewish inhabitants were incorporated into municipal urban management policy and practice before, during, and after the first emancipation during Napoleonic rule of the peninsula. She is currently revising the thesis for publication as a monograph as it brings Italian Jewry, heretofore largely unrepresented, into the discourse surrounding pre-emancipation in Europe.
Her recent article, ‘Outsiders on the Inside: Italian Jewish Ghettos and Cholera in the 1830s’, published in the January 2019 issue of European History Quarterly has garnered significant levels of academic engagement. This article challenges the lachrymose perception of Jewish experience before emancipation and illustrates the inclusion of Italian Jewry in municipal efforts to mitigate the impact of epidemic cholera. Her second project, which develops out of research conducted during her DPhil, is an exploration of burial and cemetery management. This line of inquiry investigates how Jews and other religious minorities, including Muslims and Zoroastrians, were included in municipal planning related to the transition from intra-mural to extra-mural burial from the late eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth century. Broadly conceived as a comparative study, she plans to use the cities of Florence, Paris, and London as case studies, and will begin working on literature surveys and preliminary archival work during her time as a Visiting Scholar at OCHJS.
David Aberbach is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Studies at McGill University. He did his D.Phil. at Oxford and has held visiting fellowships at the Kennedy Center for International Development, Harvard University, and the Department of International Development, London School of Economics. He has published in several areas combining literature and the social sciences, including loss and separation, charisma, national poetry, and poverty. His books on Hebrew literature include studies of Mendele Mocher Sefarim, C.N. Bialik, and S.Y. Agnon; Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy 750-500 BCE; Revolutionary Hebrew, Empire and Crisis; and The Bible and the ‘Holy Poor’: from the Tanakh to Les Misérables. Since 2019, he has been affiliated with the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford, where he is completing a book on environmental moral dilemmas in literature from the Hebrew Bible to the present.