Dr. Rebekka Grossmann

Dr. Rebekka
Associated Research Fellow

Academic interests:

Jewish Cultural and Political History, Migration, Israel & Palestine, German & European History, Photo History

Current Project:

 Post Doc Research: Moving Worlds: Jewish Humanitarian Activism beyond the Imperial Age, 1930-1970

Ph.D         Hebrew University, History, 2014-2020
                 Committee: Ofer Ashkenazi (chair), Moshe Zimmermann, Eli Lederhendler, Amos Morris-Reich
                University of Wisconsin-Madison, George L. Mosse Program in History Fellow, 2015-2016
M.Phil     University of Oxford, Modern Jewish Studies, 2013, MA-Advisors: David Rechter, Derek Penslar    
B.A.         University of Freiburg, Contemporary History, 2011
                University of Haifa, DAAD Exchange Program, 2011    

Book Manuscript (based on dissertation): The Unsettled Gaze: Photography, Mobility and Nation in Mandate Palestine

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Forthcoming    “The Aesthetic of Encounter. Photography’s Visions of Statehood in Mandate Palestine”, Israel Studies.
2019                “Image Transfer and Visual Friction. Staging Palestine in the National Socialist Spectacle”, Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 2019, 19-45.
2018                 “Negotiating Presences. Palestine and the Weimar German Gaze“, Jewish Social Studies 23.2 (2018), 137-172.
Peer-Reviewed Articles in Volumes & Anthologies
Forthcoming    “South-East of Berlin. A German-Jewish Photojournalist in India”, Skye Doney & Sunny Yudkoff (eds), Mosse’s Europe: New Perspectives in the History of German
           Jews, Fascism and Sexuality.
Encyclopedia Entries
2020    “Alice Schalek”, Luce Lebart, Marie Robert (eds), World History of Women Photographers.
2018    “Mother Borchardt” – a Jewish Shipping Company Owner (in German and English). Key Documents of German-Jewish History. A Digital Source Edition. Institut für die       Geschichte der Deutschen Juden (IDGJ), Hamburg. Jewish-History-Online.net.
2017    “The Henry Jones Lodge. Jewish Self-confidence and the Path into the Modern Age” (in German and English). Key Documents of German-Jewish History. A Digital Source        Edition. Institut für die Geschichte der Deutschen Juden (IDGJ), Hamburg. Jewish-History-Online.net.
Book Reviews
2010    Grossmann, Rebekka, Schröter, Karl Martin, Review on Sari Nusseibeh: Once Upon a Country. A Palestinian Life. New York 2007, (in German), Liberal. Vierteljahrshefte für Politik und Kultur 3 (2010), 84-86.
2011    Review on Fanny Englard: Vom Waisenhaus zum Jungfernhof. Deportiert von Hamburg nach Riga: Bericht einer Überlebenden. Gine Elsner (ed.), Hamburg, VSA: 2009 (in   German), Yakinton. Journal of the Association of Israelis of Central European Origin.
Online Publications
Forthcoming    “Displacement in Stills: German-Jewish Photographers on the Move”, Sheer Ganor, Rebekka Grossmann, https://migrantknowledge.org/, Research Blog of the GHI     Washington and the GHI Pacific Regional Office in Berkeley.
Manuscripts in Preparation
Book manuscript, “The Unsettled Gaze: Photography, Mobility and Nation in German-Jewish Migratory History”.
Book manuscript, Ofer Ashkenazi, Rebekka Grossmann, Shira Miron, Sarah Segev: “Still Lives. Jewish Photography in Nazi Germany”.
Peer-Reviewed Articles in Preparation
“Following Jewish Explorers into the Unknown: Knowledge and Movement in German-Jewish Travel Photography”, Ofer Ashkenazi and Thomas Pegelow Kaplan (eds), Rethinking Modern Jewish History and Memory through Photography.
“Eye Contact: Jewish Cameras in the Nazi German Street”.
“The Currency of the Cameratic: Photographs in International Rescue Campaigns during World War II”.
2013    “‘How will I hate?’ Israeli Intellectuals and the German Problem”. Wadham College Journal (Michaelmas Term), 16-20.

2020-2021    Postdoctoral Fellow, Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History
2020             Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies Award, Columbia University and Fordham University
2020              AJS Professional Development Grant for young scholars
2019- 2020    Binational Visiting Fellow in the History of Migration at GHI West, University of California, Berkeley
2017-2018    Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme, Leo Baeck Institute, London & Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
2014- 2019    George L. Mosse Program in History, University of Wisconsin-Madison & The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Hebrew            University, Jerusalem
2018    Conference Travel Grant of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)
2017    Leo Baeck Institute Dissertation Prize, Leo Baeck Institute, Jerusalem
2016    Conference Travel Grant of the Hebrew University
2016    Yad Vashem Dissertation Prize, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
2016    “Chavruta” Research Initiative Award, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
2012    Research Grant, Wadham College, University of Oxford    
2012    Research Grant, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
2011-2013    M.A. Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
2011-2013     M.A. Scholarship, Cusanuswerk Foundation
2011    Language and Research Fellowship in Haifa, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

2016- 2020    Research Associate, “Still Lives. Jewish Photography in Nazi Germany”, ISF & GIF-Funded Project headed by Ofer Ashkenzi
2018             Instructor, Department of History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
2016               Teaching Assistant, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2014- 2015    Research Associate, Daat HaMakom Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in Jewish Modernity, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
2014-2015    Research Assistant, Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
2011-2012    Research Assistant, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
2010-2011    Research Assistant, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)

2021        “On Turning Local Sites into Global Sights: When Zionist Politics Met  Photography”, Columbia University, January 19.
2018       “Mandated Aesthetics? The Photographic Economy of Interwar Palestine,” Modern German History Colloquium, Cologne University, December 10.
2016       “Political Landscape. Eretz Israel in Nazi Photography” (in Hebrew), Yad Vashem, the Annual Scholarship Ceremony, Jerusalem, June 27.
2016       “Camera Politica: Palestine in Nazi German Photojournalism,” Center for Jewish Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, April 14.

2020    „Jüdische Positionierungen. Zionismus und Fotografie in der Weimarer Republik zwischen Ost und West”, Rotary Club Bonn, August, 11.
2015    “Documents of Hope. Jewish Nationalism in Photography and Film” (in German), Toldot & Tarbut – Jewish History and Culture Lecture Series, Bonn University, June 25.

Conferences Co-Organized

2017    “International Symposium on German-Jewish Culture” the Richard Koebner Minerva Centre for German History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, June 25-26.
Panels Organized & Chair or Discussant
2020    “Israeli History as Global History: Crossing Borders, Extending Narratives”, Association for Jewish Studies 52th Annual Conference, Online, December 13-17.
2019    “Photoscapes in Jewish History. Locations and Topographies of Jewish Visual Culture”, Association for Jewish Studies 51th Annual Conference, San Diego, December 15-17.
2018     “Photographs as Objects, Photographs as Thoughts. On the Materiality and the Ethics of Photography in Jewish Contexts,” Association for Jewish Studies 50th Annual     Conference, Boston, December 16-18.
2017    “Jews and Photography,” Association for Jewish Studies 49th Annual Conference, Washington, December 17-19.
Conference Papers
2020    “Following Jewish Explorers into the Unknown: Visual Culture, Knowledge, and Movement in Weimar German Travelogues”, Association for Jewish Studies 52th Annual    Conference, Online, December 13-17.
2020    “Thresholds of Photographic Contact: (Post-)Colonial Imaginations and the Modern Jewish Experience of Displacement, 1933-1945”, Con:Tact! Photography and Agency,   Museum Folkwang Essen/Online, October 16-17.
2020    “Side-Seeing. International Photography and Local Identity in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War”, 53. Deutscher Historikertag, Munich, September, 8-11 (postponed due to Covid-19).
2020    “Reality’s Alternatives. International Photography and German-Jewish Politics”, German History Society Annual Conference. Hosted Virtually, September 1-3.
2020    “Photo/Agencies. International Angles and Local Perspectives on 1940s Mandate Palestine”, Association for Israel Studies 36th Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 29-July 1 (cancelled due to Covid-19).
2020    “On the Truth of Visual Fictions. Hans Kohn Between Propaganda and Politics”, West Coast Germanists Workshop, GHI West, University of California, Berkeley, April 23-24 (postponed due to Covid-19).
2020    “Sights of Division. Jewish Photojournalists and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War”, Western Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Las Vegas, March 29-30 (postponed due to Covid-19).
2019    “South-East of Berlin. A German Jewish Photojournalist in India", "Mosse's Europe: New Perspectives in the History of German Jews, Fascism and Sexuality", Berlin, June 6-9.
2019    “Crossing Visions. Photography in Mandate Palestine as Multi-National and Transdisciplinary Encounter”, Transdisciplinary Perspectives in the Field of Jewish Cultural Studies, Simon-Dubnow-Institute, Leipzig, February 25-26.  
2019    “Kodak Conversations. The Cultural Dynamics of Mandate Palestine’s Photographic Economy”, Israeli Forum for the Research of the History of Zionism, Tel Aviv, January, 11.
2017    “Photographic Orientations. The Intricate Politics of Georg Landauer’s Photobook ‘Palästina. 300 Bilder’” (in German), Deutschsprachige Zionismen, Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin, October 25-27.
2017    “Fascism’s Orientalism. Nazi Germany, Zionism and the Photographic Representation of Palestine,” 17th World Congress in Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August 6-10.
2017    “Flows and/of Images. The Yishuv of the 1940s in Photographic History,” Israeli Forum for the Research of the History of Zionism Annual Conference, Tel Hai, July 3-4.
2017    “Imperialist Dreams and Domesticated Exoticism. The Orient in the Nazi German Mind,” Yad Vashem Annual Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Workshop, Jerusalem, February 23.
2016    “Tobacco and Politics. The Orient, Zionism and the German Consumer,” Association for Jewish Studies 48th Annual Conference, San Diego, December 18-20.
2016    “Global Visions, Envisioned Mobility and Visual Friction: Agency Photographs and the Contested Nature of a ‘National Socialist Aesthetics’”, “Photographing under Dictatorships of the Twentieth Century,” Humboldt University, Berlin, October 26-28.
2016    “The Eastern and the Western Landscape? Photojournalism and the Making of a Jewish National Space,” Association for Israel Studies 32th Annual Conference, Jerusalem, June 20-22.
2015    “Antagonist Optics. Photographs of Jewish Palestine and the Nazi German Gaze,” Association for Jewish Studies 47th Annual Conference, Boston, December 13-15.
2015    “Creating a Zionist Aesthetics. The Role of Weimar Photography in Zionist Education,” Midwest Jewish Studies Association 27th Annual Conference, Lawrence, October 17-18.
2015    “Tailored Heimat: Hadassah America and the Creation of an Israeli ‘National Optics’ for the American Eye,” Spiritual Homelands, Wahlheimat, Elective Exiles, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, October 7-9.
2013    “New Spirits – Old Wounds. Israeli Intellectuals and the German Problem,” EAIS Annual Conference: Israel between International Relations and Domestic Policies, SOAS, London, September 15-16.

2017    “Archives of Migration. The Shores of Palestine as Visual Icons of the 1940s,” Migrating Images – Images of Migration, Center for German Studies, Hebrew University,   Jerusalem, June 11.
2017    “Frontiers, Gates and a War. Photography and the Image of Palestine 1939-1945,” Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Hebrew University, Annual Graduate Conference, Jerusalem, May 28-29.
2016    “Contested Place - Conflicted Gaze. Palestine in Nazi German Photojournalism,” Daat HaMakom Centre for the Study of Cultures of Place in Jewish Modernity, Annual Conference, Yad HaShmona, July 3-4.
2016    “On the Different Temporalities of the Palestinian Landscape. Photographs of Transition,” Photography in Exile, The Richard Koebner Minerva Centre for German History, Jerusalem, June 19-20.
2015    “The Other Palestine. The Visual Construction of a National Space in Germany and North America,” Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center Colloquium for German Jewish History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, April 30.
2015    “The Political Eye. The Role of Visual Culture in the Construction of Palestine as a Jewish National Space,” The Richard Koebner Minerva Centre for German History Lecture Series, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, January 19.

Hebrew University, Sole Instructor    
The History of Photography and Photography as History, Spring 2018 (in Hebrew)
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Teaching Assistant
The History of the Holocaust, Spring 2016

History of the Holocaust
Modern Jewish History
European History
The History of Photography
Israeli History

Co-Founder and Organizer, International Research Initiative on the Intersections of Jewish History and the History of Photography, with Maya Benton, Curator, International Center of Photography, New York, 2017-present
Organizer, Research Group on Visual Culture, Hebrew University, 2016-2017
Program Assistant, Oxford Lecture Series “Israel – Historical, Political and Social Aspects,” 2011-2013
Graduate Student Representative, Search Committee, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford 2011-2013

German, native
English, fluent (reading, writing, speaking)
Hebrew, fluent (reading, writing, speaking)
French, proficient (reading, writing, speaking)
Yiddish, proficient (reading)

Association for Jewish Studies
Kollegium Jüdische Studien des Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg
Postdoc Netzwerk für Jüdische Studien der Wissenschaftlichen Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo-Baeck-Instituts in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Association for Israel Studies
European Association for Jewish Studies
World Union of Jewish Studies
Israeli Forum for the Research of the History of Zionism



(Photograph by Monika Schuerle)