Noah Benninga is a postdoctoral fellow at the Richard Koebner Minerva Center at the Hebrew University. His PhD, ‘The Material Culture of Prisoners in Auschwitz’ (Hebrew University), uses witness testimony to study the material culture and everyday life of prisoners in the ‘Metropolis of Death’. He is the author of a number of scholarly publications, including ‘The First Person Inversion: Conscious Engagement and the Practical Past’ (Holocaust Studies: A Journal of History and Culture, 2015); ‘Jean Amery and the Negative Materiality of Language in Auschwitz’ (in: Ulrich Bielefeld and Yifaat Weiss, eds., Jean Améry: Als Gelegenheitsgast, ohne jedes Engagement, Wilhelm Fink, 2013); as well as the entry on ‘Auschwitz’ in Dan Diner’s prestigious Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur (2011). His co-edited volume Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell, 2015) includes contributions from Hayden White, Otto Dov Kulka and Aleida Assmann, among others. His prizes and honors include the President’s Fellowship, the Wolf Prize for graduate students, and the Franz Rozenzweig Minerva Fellowship.
09/2009 – 12/2015: PhD, Department of History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.
Dissertation title: Materiality at the Zero Degree: The Material Culture of Häftlinge in Auschwitz. Thesis advisor: Professor Moshe Zimmermann. Academic committee: Prof. Aleida Assmann, University of Konstanz, Prof. Hannan Hever, Hebrew University.
Submitted: December 2015;
Approved: July 2016.
10/2005 – 12/2007: MA, Department of History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Summa cum laude (December 2007). Thesis: Material Culture as Documentation of the Historical Unconscious – the Umbrella and Industrialization in Victorian England (final grade: 99). Thesis advisor: Professor Moshe Zimmermann. Overall grade average: 96.81.
10/2001 – 09/2005: BA, Department of History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Summa cum laude (May 2006). Valedictorian. Second major: School of History (honors program for outstanding students in history and associated fields). Minor in Psychology. Overall grade average – 96.44.
(co-edited with Katrin Stoll) Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust, London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2015.
Peer Reviewed Articles
- “The First Person Inversion: Conscious Engagement and the Practical Past”, Holocaust Studies: A Journal of History and Culture, vol. 20 no. 1-2 2015, pp. 219—248.
Also published in Noah Benninga and Katrin Stoll eds., Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust, pp. 197—224. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2015.
- (with Katrin Stoll), “Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust: Redressing the Missed Conversation,” Holocaust Studies: A Journal of History and Culture, vol. 20 no. 1-2 2015, pp. 1—16.
Also published in Noah Benninga and Katrin Stoll eds., Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust, pp. 1—14. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2015.
- “Holocaust Testimony as Sources for (a) Cultural History of the Holocaust: the Anecdote as an Analytical Tool”, Kwartalnik Historii Zydow (Jewish History Quarterly), Nr 2 (246), 2013. pp. 414—432.
Accepted for publication
- “Studying the Material Culture of Prisoners in Auschwitz: Sources, Approaches and the Israeli Research,” in Zmanim: Historical Quarterly [Hebrew]
Peer Reviewed Chapters in Books
- “The Cut of Language: Jean Améry and the Negative Materiality of Language in Auschwitz,” in Ulrich Bielefeld and Yfaat Weiss eds., Jean Améry: Als Gelegenheitsgast, ohne jedes Engagement, pp. 31—50 [German], Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2014.
- “Auschwitz”, in Dan Diner ed., Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur, vol. 1, pp. 192—202, (Stuttgart/Weimar: J.B. Metzler, 2011).
- (with Moshe Zimmermann), “Baseball”, in: Dan Diner ed., Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur, vol. 1, , pp. 264–267. Stuttgart/Weimar : J.B. Metzler, 2011.
Accepted for publication in Edited Volumes
- “Fashion in Auschwitz”, in Leora Auslander and Tara Zahra, eds., People and Things on the Move (publisher pending).
- “New World Adulterant, Courtly metal, Industrial Product: Unlocking Platinum in Europe”, in Martina Kaller and Frank Jacob, eds., New World Impacts on Europe (Routledge).
Fellowships, Scholarships, Prizes
2013: Yad Vashem Research Scholarship, from the Norbert and Leiza Schechter Fund
2013: Erich Kulka Prize, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University
2013: Warburg Prize, the Mandel Institute for Jewish Studies, Hebrew University
2013: Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman Fellowship, USHMM Washington, four month research fellowship (July 2013; declined due to personal circumstances)
2012: Shimon Wiesenthal Prize from the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University
2012: Six-month scholarship from the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University
2011: Lakritz Foundation Research Grant, Hebrew University
2011: Research Fellowship, The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center, Hebrew University
2010: Travel Fellowship, Deutsches Historisches Institut, Warsaw
2010: Ya’akov Talmon Prize for PhD students, Department of History, Hebrew University
2010: Yad Vashem, the Dr. Avraham Margaliot and the Aya Kri’el bat Yekuti’el and Aliza Beharav Research Scholarship for PhD students
2010: Wolf Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Students
2010: Six-month scholarship from the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University
2009: Travel grant from Authority for Research Students, Hebrew University
2008—2012: President’s Fellowship for Ph.D.
2008: Meir Hephetz prize for outstanding research paper, Department of History, Hebrew University (granted for M.A. thesis)
2005—2007: Faculty of the Humanities scholarship for M.A.
2006: Rector’s prize for academic achievement in M.A.
2005: George Mosse prize for outstanding work during undergraduate studies, Department of History, Hebrew University
2005: German scholarship, Center for Austria Studies, Hebrew University (2-month summer course in Austria)
2004: Yehushua Arieli prize for outstanding undergraduate work, Department of History, Hebrew University
2002 - 2004: School of History scholarship, Hebrew University
2003: German scholarship, Center for Austria Studies, Hebrew University (2-month summer course in Austria)
2002/3: Dean’s Award, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University
2001/2: Dean’s Award, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University
June 2016: “Fashion in Auschwitz: The Bricolage of Death”, workshop with People and Things on the Move, Chicago University in Paris
May 2015: “Fashion in Auschwitz: The Bricolage of Death”, presentation at People and Things on the Move, Chicago University.
October 2013: “Holocaust Historiography – the Transformation of Narratives”, presented at “Gedaechtnis im Uebergang: Transformationen, Uebersetzungen, Ausblicke”, Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna.
June 2013: “The Paradox of Historical Distance – Between Disavowal and Conscious-Engagement”, presented at “Sine Ira et Studio? Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust”, International Conference at the Hebrew University.
June 2012: “The Koebner Center and the Rubicon of 1938 – a Historiographic account, 1986-2000”, presented at Moshe Zimmermann’s retirement conference, Department of History, Hebrew University.
December 2011: “Holocaust Testimony as Sources for (a) Cultural History of the Holocaust,” presented at “To Stay or go? Jews in Europe in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust”, International Conference at the German Historical Institute, Warsaw, Poland.
November 2011: “Jean Améry and the Materiality of Language in Auschwitz,” presented at “… as an occasional guest, without any commitment…” Jean Améry Conference, organized by the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center and the Hamburger Institute for Social Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
January 2011: “The Anecdote as a Mitigating Element between Holocaust Testimonies and Literature, and the Historical Record,” Minerva Center’s Annual Workshop for Young Researchers of German History and Culture in Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
May 2010: “The Witness, the Anecdote and the Zero Degree of Materiality in Auschwitz,” 16th Workshop on the history of concentration camps: New perspectives from concentration camp research – location, occurrence, commemoration, Oświęcim, Poland
July 2009: “Materiality at the Zero Degree: The Material Culture of Haeftlinge in Auschwitz: a Project Overview,” Konstanzer Meisterklasse on Trauma and Narration (chair: Prof. Hayden White), University of Konstanz, Germany
March 2007: “The Umbrella in Victorian England,” 31st Annual Conference of the Israeli Historical Society on Material Culture (chair: Prof. Michael Toch), Tel Aviv University, Israel
“Introduction to Cultural Studies”, Western Galilee College
“The Nazi Rise to Power", Western Galilee College
“The Century of the Camp: the 20th Century”, Western Galilee College
“Critical Sources on the Holocaust and WWII”, Western Galilee College
“Victims of Nazi Germany”, Department of History, Hebrew University
“Writing Skills in Hebrew,” Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University
“Seeing Auschwitz,” Department of History, Hebrew University (with Prof. Moshe Zimmermann)
“Academic Literacy,” Preparatory Division, Ahva College
“Business Writing,” Ahva College (academic supervision: Ben-Gurion University, School of Management)
“Material Culture in Victorian England,” Department of History, Hebrew University
“Introduction to World History", School of History, Hebrew University
“Scientific Writing,” Hebrew University Preparatory School
Teaching Assistant, Department of History, Hebrew University (with prof. Moshe Zimmermann, Prof. Michael Toch, and Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky)
“Writing the Holocaust: Between Historical Distance and Conscious Involvement”, Center for Dutch Jewry, Hebrew University, Zionist of America Organization, Tel Aviv June 2013
“Waiting to be heard: Jacques Stroumsa and the Social Politics of Transgenerational Transmission in Israel versus the Germany”, 15th International Summer Program at the Ben Gurion University, August 2012
“Why the Art of Photography Matters Now as Never Before for the Interpretation of Holocaust Testimonies”, Simon Wiesenthal Prize, Department of Contemporary Judaism, Hebrew University, June 2012
2008-12: Enzyklopaedie der juedischen Kultur. Prof. Moshe Zimmermann in cooperation with the Saxonian Academy of Sciences, Leipzig
20011-12 (ongoing): Der juedische Sport zwischen Inklusion und Exklusion. A project supported by the Government of Niedesachsen, Prof. Moshe Zimmermann in cooperation with the University of Hannover.
2009/10: World History, with Dr. Yuval Harrari
2004: Material Culture in Early Statehood Israel, with Dr. Anat Helman
International Symposia and Courses Attended
May 2015: People and Things on the Move, Chicago University
June 2011: the 16th Annual Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
June 2011: Den Holocaust erzählen? Historiographie zwischen wissenschaftlicher Empirie und narrativer Kreativität, Jena Center, 20th Century History, Jena, Germany
July 2009: Konstanzer Meisterklasse on Trauma and Narration (with Hayden White, Geoffrey Hartman, and Dominick LaCapra), University of Konstanz, Germany
March 2009: The Material of Memory, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Kulturwissenschaften und Theatergeschichte, Vienna, Austria
Academic Secretary of the Center for Research on the history of Dutch Jewry, The Hebrew University (Rabin Building)
November 2014: Organization of the international conference “Ein Jahrhundert Krieg: Historiker debattieren über Deutsche Geschichte seit 1914”, on behalf of the Richard Koebner Minerva Center Jerusalem.
June 2013: With Dr. Katrin Stoll of the DHI Warsaw, organization of international conference, “Sine Ira et Studio? Personal Engagement, Historical Distance and the Study of the Holocaust”. Funding, Richard Koebner Minerva Center and the Deutsche Historisches Institut Warsaw. Jerusalem, Israel.
August 2012: Organizing committee, 18th Workshop on the history of concentration camps: Forced Labor, Exploitation and War Production, Bunker Valentin, Bremen, Germany
January 2012: Concert organization “Cinco Canciones Tragicas – Five Tragic Songs,” Commemoration of the International Holocaust Day, the National Library, Jerusalem. Poems by Moshe Liba, set to music by Leon Biriotti, performed by the 21st Century Ensemble
December 2011: Editor, exhibition (with Robert Sommer), “Camp Brothels: Forced Sex Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps,” Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück/Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Fürstenberg/Havel 2011
May 2010: Organizing committee, the 2nd Annual Conference of the President’s Fellows on Creativity, Connections and Interpretation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Hebrew (mother tongue) English (mother tongue); German (fluent reading, proficient writing and speaking); Arabic (fluent speaking, proficient reading and writing); French (proficient reading); Dutch (mid-level reading); Latin (basic proficiency).