- Ph.D., Sociology, The New School for Social Research
Fields of Interest
- Memory Studies
- Media and the Public Sphere
- Ethnic, Race, and Gende Inequalities
- Contemporary German Culture
About Irit Dekel
I am interested in the relations between collective memory, media and the public sphere. My work has focused on Holocaust memorialization and the representation of ethnic and religious difference in contemporary Germany, using ethnography as well as discourse analysis.
Museums have been a site for my research: I co-led a comparative research project on the representation and experience of home in Home Museums in Germany and Israel. This study focused on atmosphere and temporality, the presentation of gender differences, and mediating techniques of tour guides. I have written on the Anti-War Museum in Berlin within an ongoing interest in memories of non-violent struggles and activism.
My first book, Mediation at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin (2013), analyzed how various groups mediate their experience in the Holocaust Memorial, performing a moral transformation around how they relate to Holocaust memory and recent German history. I argued that visitors reflect on and negotiate the modes in which they are expected to engage with those memories along with questions of citizenship and belonging of Jews and other minorities to the German society.
My research has additionally raised questions on the intersection of nationalism and pluralism. I have studied the Circumcision Debate in Germany and Israelis in Berlin.
My current research focuses on philosemitism,witnessing and the social positions of minorities in contemporary Germany. Studying philosemitism is for me a lens through which to observe both local debates over antisemitism as well as to shed light on our larger understanding of social, national and post national projects of exclusion and inclusion.
- GER-G422 German Memory Exhibited
- JSTU-J500 Social Memory, Jewish Positions
- GER-G564 Home in Contemporary German Culture
- JSTU-J303 Jews in the Media: The Production and Experience of a Minority
- JSTU-J204 Monuments, Memories: Black and Jewish Experiences
- GER-G464 The City in German Thought and Practice
- GER-G334 Introduction to German Thought: The Freeom to Think Otherwise
- GER-G627 Holocaust Memory: Debates and Sites
- HIST-B323 History of the Holocaust
Articles and Book Chapter Selections
- Irit Dekel 2022 ‘Philosemitism in Contemporary German Media’ in Media, Culture & Society 44(4) 746-763.
- Irit Dekel and Esra Özyürek 2021: What Do We Talk About When We Talk about Antisemitism in Germany? Journal of Genocide Research 23 (3) 392-399.
- Irit Dekel 2020 "You are My Liberty: On the Negotiation of Holocaust and other Memories for Israelis in Berlin" chapter 13 in Rebuilding Jewish Life in Germany. Edited by Jay Geller and Michael Meng, Rutgers University Press.
- Irit Dekel, Bernhard Forchtner and Ibrahim Efe 2020. Circumcising the body: negotiating difference and belonging in Germany, National Identities, 22:2, 193-211.
- Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and Irit Dekel 2019 "Moving Gender: Home museums and the Construction of their Inhabitants". European Journal of Women Studies, 26(3) 274 –292.
- Irit Dekel 2018 "Quoting and Telling: The mediating techniques of tour guides in German Home Museums Ethnologica Europaea: a Journal of European Ethnology 48:2 82-95.
- Irit Dekel 2017 "On the Unknown Soldier Symbol in Israeli Culture" Studies in Judaism, Humanities and the Social Sciences 1:1 85-100.
- Irit Dekel and Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi 2017 "A living place: on the sociology of atmosphere in home museums", European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 4:3, 336-362.
- Irit Dekel 2016 "Subjects of Memory? Holocaust Memory in two German Historical Museums" in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust 30: 3, 296-314
- Irit Dekel and Tamar Katriel T2015 "Krieg dem Kriege": The Berlin Anti-War-Museum as a Multilayered Site of Memory in Anna Reading and Tamar Katriel (Eds.) Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggle: Powerful Times (Palgrave Macmillan).