Department ofGermanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Kobi Kabalek

Kobi Kabalek

Assistant Professor of Holocaust Studies and Visual Studies
Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literature and Jewish Studies

338 Burrowes Building


Ph.D., The University of Virginia, 2013


I earned my Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia, with a dissertation on “The Rescue of Jews and the Memory of Nazism in Germany” (2013). In 2014-2017 I was a post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as part of the ERC project “Experience, Judgment, and Representation of WWII in an Age of Globalization,” and examined conflicting perspectives concerning the war in Mandatory Palestine and their impact on the postwar historiography of Israel and Zionism. My research focuses on historical perceptions, moral sentiments, and memory in film, literature, auto/biography, oral narratives, art, etc., in German, Israeli, and global Holocaust history. I currently explore marginalized and extreme phenomena in Holocaust testimonies, historical writing, and popular culture – with special attention to the role of fantasy, imagination, and horror – and their impact on our understanding and representation of the Holocaust.

Recent Publications:

“Between Nationalism and Internationalism: Robert Weltsch and the Colonial Dilemma in WWII Palestine,” forthcoming in AJS Review.

(Together with Ella Falldorf) “Meaningful Work: Cultural Frameworks of Forced Labour in Accounts of Nazi Concentration Camp Inmates,” forthcoming in German History.

“‘Other Germans’: Exceptions and Rules in the Memory of Rescuing Jews in Postwar Germany,” Central European History 55: 3 (2022): 390-409.

“Commemorating Failure: Unsuccessful Rescue of Jews in German Film and Literature, 1945-1960,” German History 38: 1 (2020): 96-112.

“Monsters in the Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors,” in Iris Idelson-Shein and Christian Wiese, eds., Monsters and Monstrosity in Jewish History: From the Middle Ages to Modernity, (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 134-153.

“Sexy Zombies? On the Improbable Possibility of Loving the Undead,” in Aylin Basaran et al., eds., Sexualität und Widerstand: Internationale Filmkulturen und Literaturen (Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag, 2018), 322-333.

“What Is the Context of Memory?,” in Gerd Sebald and Jatin Wagle, eds., Theorizing Social Memories: Concepts and Contexts (New York: Routledge, 2016), 171-183.

“Edges of History and Memory: The ‘Final Stage’ of the Holocaust,” Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust 29: 3 (2015): 240-263.

“DDR-Soziologie und die (Nicht)Thematisierung der NS-Zeit,” in Michaela Christ and Maja Suderland, eds., Soziologie und Nationalsozialismus: Positionen, Debatten, Perspektiven (Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2014), 263-284.

Editor (together with Michael Elm and Julia Köhne) – The Horrors of Trauma in Cinema: Violence, Void, Visualization (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).

Editor – “Memory and Periphery”: Special Issue of Hagar – Studies in Culture, Polity, and Identities 12 (Winter 2014).

“The Commemoration before the Commemoration: Yad Vashem and the Righteous Among the Nations,” 1945-1963,” Yad Vashem Studies 39: 1 (2011): 169-211.

“Unheroic Heroes: Re-Viewing Roman Polanski’s ‘The Pianist’ in Germany and Israel,” in Vera Apfelthaler and Julia Köhne, eds., Gendered Memories: Transgressions in German and Israeli Film and Theater (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2007), 61-82.