Fellows – Migrating Knowledge

Fellows – Migrating Knowledge

Rivka Feldhay, who heads the research project on the migration of knowledge, teaches the history of science and ideas at Tel Aviv University. Her areas of research and teaching are: knowledge and faith in the early modern era, intellectual currents in the Renaissance, Copernicus and Galileo in their own context, science education in Catholic Europe, and the culture of the Baroque and the New Science. Professor Feldhay has served as a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center (1987-8); the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (1998-9); the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna (1994); the Dibner Institute at MIT (1995); the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (1997; 2005-6); and the Collegium Helveticum of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) (2001). Between the years 1997-2003 she headed the Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv University. Between the years 1994-1998 she led a research project titled “Europe and the Middle East: Key Political Concepts in a Cultural Dialogue” at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and in association with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin. In 2004-2006 she ran the research group on “Russians in Israel” at Van Leer.  Among her major publications are:

Books: R. Feldhay, Galileo and the Church: Political Inquisition or Critical Dialogue? Cambridge University Press 1995 (303 pp.) [reprint 1999]
E. Etkes & R. Feldhay (eds.with introduction ), Education and History: Cultural and Political Contexts, , The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History: Jerusalem 1998 (in Hebrew)

Articles: R. Feldhay, “The use and abuse of mathematical entities: Galileo and the Jesuits revisited”, in P. Machamer (ed.), A Companion to Galileo, Cambridge University Press 1998, pp. 80-146

R. Feldhay, “Religion”, in K. Park and L. Daston (eds.), The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 3, Cambridge University Press 2006, pp. 727-755

R. Feldhay, “On Wonderful Machines: The Transmission of Mechanical Knowledge   by Jesuits” Science and Education, Volume 15, Numbers 2-4, March 2006, pp. 151-172.

R. Feldhay, “Authority, Political Theology, and the Politics of Knowledge in the Transition from Medieval to Early Modern Catholicism”, Social Research, Vol 73, No 4: Winter 2006, pp. 1065-1092
R. Feldhay, “Der Fall Galilei: Der damalige Konflict zwischen Glauben und Wissen aus heutiger Sicht”, in Sterne und Weltraum, (2009) 6:44-53

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Keren Abbou Hershkovits completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. Her dissertation, written under the supervision of Dr. Nimrod Hurvitz, is titled “Historiography of Science in Arabic Texts, Tenth-Fourteenth Centuries.” It deals with the attitudes of scholars toward scientific knowledge and with the position of scientific knowledge vis-à-vis other branches of knowledge. After submitting her dissertation, Abbou Hershkovits spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal, where she was affiliated with the “Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Cultures” research group. In this context, her work focused on the consolidation of a circle of physicians under the Abbasids, and the social and political process that led to the dominance of Galenism over other contemporary medical systems. She is currently researching the prophet Idris, the social and cultural aspects of the transmission of medicine to the Muslim world, and climatology. At the Minerva Humanities Center Abbou Hershkovits investigates the Arab historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldūn and the origins of his approach to science, and examines how scientific theories, especially climatology, were changed once transmitted and translated into Arabic.

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Tal Arbel is a cultural historian of modern science and technology. In 2016, she completed a Ph.D. in History of Science at Harvard University. Previously, she studied at Tel Aviv University, earning an MA in History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas. Her work concerns the history of social and psychological measurement, the sociology of expertise, and the scientific rationalization of public life and self understanding. Her book manuscript, The American Soldier in Jerusalem: A Global History of Survey Research, asks how measuring the attitudes and preferences of ordinary people by means of sample surveys became a pervasive, nearly universal, way of knowing in both social science and public life in the second half of the 20th century. More specifically, set against the backdrop of postwar modernization politics, the book examines the importation of public opinion and market research into late 1940s Palestine and the deployment of these methods on a wide scale in Zionist nation building and social engineering during the first decades of Israeli statehood. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center (2016-2018), she is working on two new projects, both of which concern knowledge migration in the social sciences. The first analyzes Hebrew translations of WWII-era self help guides for American soldiers as a way of tracing the circulation of behavioral intelligibility and highlighting processes of hybridization. The second project — part of a larger project about the history of norms in the social sciences — explores the controversy over value-neutrality that took place at the Hebrew University in the late 1930s and 1940s.

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Lina Barouch attained her PhD in German-Jewish literature at  the University of Oxford. Her expertise is linguistic and literary dislocation and exile in early twentieth-century German-Jewish writing. Her forthcoming book, Between German and Hebrew: The Counterlanguages of Gershom Scholem, Werner Kraft and Ludwig Strauss (De Gruyter & Magnes University Press), deals with linguistic and literary responses to cultural marginality and uprooting. In the joint project of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre and the Deutsche Literatur Archiv (Marbach) for the preservation of German-Jewish archives in Israel Dr. Barouch managed the selection, documentation and computerisation of the Heinrich Loewe Archive in Tel Aviv.  She has published extensively on Gershom Scholem’s early writings, on German exile literature and on bi-lingual forms of writing such as auto-translation and code-switching. Dr. Barouch’s most recent research project with the Minerva Humanities Center examines migrating knowledge via Paul Celan’s poetics and the reception and translation of Celan’s poetry within Israeli Hebrew culture.

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Michal Brosh Meltzer holds an LL.B from The College of Management in Israel and is a master’s student at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Her research reexamines Cartesian dualism in light of Descartes’ last essay, “Les Passions de l’Âme”.

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Jose BrunnerJosé Brunner completed a B.A. in Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a D. Phil. in Politics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. He has been teaching at Tel Aviv University since 1984, at first in the Department of Political Science and since 1996 as a tenured faculty member at the Buchmann Faculty of Law and the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas. In the course of the last decade Brunner also held the following positions at TAU: 2005 – 2013: Director of the Minerva Institute for German History  (Editor-in-Chief of Tel Aviv Yearbook for German History); 2011 – 2014: Co-Founder (with Attorney Yossi Hayut) and academic supervisor of Israel’s first Legal Clinic for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors; 2010 – today: Founder and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program for Law and the Humanities; 2012 – today: Director of the Eva & Marc Besen Institute for the Study of Historical Consciousness (Main activity: Senior Editor of History & Memory, published by Indiana University Press).
Brunner has held visiting fellowships and professorships at Harvard, Northwestern, McGill, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich.
Brunner’s main areas of research and publication include the relationship between law, memory and identity, the history and politics of psychoanalysis, the politics of the mental health discourse on trauma, psychological theories of Nazism and genocide, modern and contemporary political thought, and the history of compensation for Holocaust survivors in Germany and Israel. Brunner’s publications appeared in English, German, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek and Japanese.
Together with Galia Amrami Plotkin Brunner founded and chaired the interdisciplinary research group Therapy in Translation: Knowledge, Culture, Politics at the Minerva Humanities Center.

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Raz Chen Morris holds an M.A. (cum laude, in the history of medieval and Renaissance science) and a Ph.D. (2001) from Tel Aviv University. His undergraduate degree is from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Throughout his studies Morris taught at several high schools and colleges, among them The Arts and Science High School in Jerusalem, Alma Hebrew College in Tel Aviv, The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Seminar Hakibbutzim. Today Morris is a lecturer in the graduate program of Science, Technology and Society at Bar-Ilan University. He has published widely on Renaissance science, concentrating on Kepler’s optics. His major publications to date are: “Optics, Imagination, and the Construction of Scientific Observation in Kepler’s New Science”, The Monist (2001) 84, 4:453-486; “Shadows of Instruction: Optics and Classical Authorities in Kepler’s Somnium”, Journal for the History of Ideas (2005) 66, 2:223-243; and “From Emblems to Diagrams: Kepler’s New Pictorial Language of Scientific Representation”, Renaissance Quarterly (2009) 62, 1:134-170. His research at The Minerva Humanities Center, entitled “Vision Contested”, examines the disputes over visual experience in the early stages of the New Science. Morris is married and has three children.

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Leigh Chipman received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. (2006) from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was a Kreitman postdoctoral fellow at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2007-2008). She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at The Minerva Humanities Center. After writing her M.A. on the stories surrounding the creation of Adam in Islam and Judaism, she turned to the field of history of medicine. A revised version of her dissertation, title The World of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in Mamlūk Cairo, is forthcoming from Brill. Leigh’s research interests are the social and intellectual history of medicine and science in the Islamicate world. At the Minerva Humanities Center she will study forms of secret writing (codes, ciphers, and alchemical writings) in the late medieval and early modern Middle East.

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Tamar Cholcman specializes in Renaissance and Baroque Art of the Netherlands and the Iberian Peninsula. Her main field of research is Ephemeral Art in the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She studied at Tel Aviv University, The Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, and the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich. In 2006 she received her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University. Dr. Cholcman was granted the Rottenstreich Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Students in Humanities and the Dan David Prize Scholarship for Young Researchers. Her publications discuss aspects of civic propaganda and ceremony as well as the theoretical problems of Ephemeral Art and its realization in the written text. Her current work explores the contribution and influence of merchants to the expansion of Ephemeral Art throughout Europe and the New World. Cholcman teaches at Tel Aviv University and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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Idit Chikurel is a Ph.d. candidate in the School of Philosophy and the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel-Aviv University. Her research,  conducted under the supervision of Prof. Gideon Freudenthal, focuses on Salomon Maimon’s theory of invention. Idit holds a B.A. in Psychology and in Women & Gender Studies (Magna Cum Laude) and an M.A. from the Cohn Institute (Magna Cum Laude). Her M.A. thesis was dedicated to Maimon’s concept of number and his criticism of Kant’s synthetic a priori judgments.

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Michael Elazar, formerly an aeronautical engineer, scientific editor of Hed-Artzi/Ma’ariv Publishing House, and Editor-in-Chief of Galileo: Israeli Periodical on Science and Thought, received a Master’s degree (1999) and a Ph.D. degree (2010) from the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. His M.A. thesis discussed the “Theory of Configurations” formulated by the philosopher and theologian Nicole Oresme (1320-1382). His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “Honoré Fabri and the Concept of Impetus: A Bridge between Paradigms”, was supervised by Professor Rivka Feldhay and focused on the Jesuit philosopher and mathematician Honoré Fabri (1608-1688). Elazar continues his research into seventeenth-century Jesuit physics as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He also serves as an assistant editor of the Cambridge Journal Science in Context.

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Ofer Elior holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and History and a M.A. in History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His Ph.D. dissertation (2011) centers on Ruah Hen, an anonymous Hebrew philosophical-scientific treatise, composed in the thirteenth century, probably in Provençe. The dissertation studies the contents of Ruah Hen, in light of the specific intellectual and cultural context in which it was written. In addition, the dissertation discusses Ruah Hen’s transmission and appropriation in several other cultural environments of European Jewry. Dr. Elior’s primary research project deals with the Jewish scientific canon in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. The project attempts to identify the treatises which together constituted this canon, and examines the main aspects of their use as authoritative texts in the learning of science. Other research interests include the music of the spheres in the commentary tradition on Moses Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed, and the concept of corporeal form in medieval Jewish thought.

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Asaf Federman is a post-doctorate research fellow at Minerva Center for Humanities Research. His project focuses on the migration of ideas and practices from Buddhism into psychology in the twentieth century, in particular meditation. Asaf completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology at Warwick, UK, where he studied ideas of self-control in cognitive science and Buddhist philosophy. He completed a Master’s degree in Religious Studies at Bristol, and graduated from Haifa University’s philosophy department. His Hebrew translation of the Pali Dhammapada was published in 2011. He has also published a few articles on issues related to Buddhist history and thought, including an extensive correspondence between Nyanaponika Thera and David Ben Gurion that was found in Sri Lanka.

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Naveh Frumer holds an MA in philosophy from Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing his dissertation at the New School for Social Research, dealing with the normative grammar of Critical Theory at its various stages. He is one of the coordinators of “The Future of the Humanities” research group, and is also involved in the Political Lexicon group. Frumer focuses mainly on contemporary political and moral theory: on the limits of liberal thought in providing an adequate concept of injustice for the contemporary period, especially in light of the rise of new protest movements, and on the alternative offered by post-Marxist thought, broadly construed.

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Asaf Goldschmidt is a senior lecturer at the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Aviv University. He teaches and writes about Chinese medicine, its history, philosophy and social context. His research focuses on the transformations of Chinese medicine during the Song dynasty; the imperial government’s impact on medical knowledge and practice; and the status of physicians during this era. His book, titled The Evolution of Chinese Medicine: Song Dynasty 960–1200, was recently published by Routledge as part of the Needham Research Institute Series. His most recent research concerns the history of the Imperial Pharmacy as an imperial medical institution with public health bearing, and the history of the clinical encounter during the Song-Yuan period. At The Minerva Humanities Center he studies the temporal transmission of medical knowledge during the Song dynasty (960-1276).

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Reut Harari is an M.A. student in the History Department at Tel-Aviv University. Her research deals with the history of medicine in Japan. She earned her B.A. (summa cum laude) from TAU’s History and East Asian Departments. During her undergraduate studies, she studied also at VIU University in Venice. Harari was exposed to Japanese culture from an early age and lived in Japan for two and a half years. During that time, she studied Japanese intensively and worked for about a year in the upper house of the Japanese Parliament. Her interaction with Japan continues in her academic research, professional activities, and interpersonal relations. Her interest in the history of medicine stems from a semester of medical studies. In her work with the Migration of Knowledge research group Harari will focus on the story of Hanaoka Seishu, a Japanese physician, as a case study of the Japanese encounter with Western medical knowledge in the early modern period.

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Gal Herz is a graduate of The Open University and Alma College. He wrote his M.A. thesis on theology and politics in Baruch Kurzweil’s thought, and is now writing his Ph.D. dissertation on Karl Kraus’s language criticism. Alongside his academic work, Herz is involved in various projects that seek to combine critical theory and political activism. He is one of the founders of a center for bi-national thought. His research at The Minerva Humanities Center deals with the transfer of knowledge between aesthetics, theology, and politics in German Jewish thought at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Ayelet Ibn Ezra received her Ph.D. from the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Ideas and the History Department at Tel Aviv University, and spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for the Research and History of Texts (IRHT-CNRS) at Paris. Her doctoral thesis focused on a reconstruction of the discourse about knowledge and reflection held by the teachers at the faculty of theology in Paris in the early thirteenth century, and the way this discourse reflects their attempts to formulate their professional identity within the context of their contemporary culture. Ibn Ezra is currently researching the institutional and cultural aspects of the medieval university, alongside other centers of knowledge-production. She also investigates concepts and practices of nature and order in the scholastic world, with a special focus on graphic diagrams as a way of constructing and organizing bodies of knowledge.

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Chen Iron is a Ph.D. student at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. He received his B.A. from the program in philosophy, economics and political science at the Hebrew University and a Master’s degree (magna cum laude) from the Cohn Institute. His main field of research focuses on philosophical questions related to economic methodology and how it affects both the construction of economic knowledge and the characteristics of the society and the economy. But mostly – he teaches mathematics, specializing in working with children with learning disabilities and ADHD.

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Shaul KatzirShaul Katzir is a senior lecturer at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science at Tel Aviv University. He has published extensively on the history of physics and connected technologies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, discussing among other themes: the role of and interactions between traditions and style of research, symmetry in physics, molecular versus phenomenological approaches, precise experiments, piezoelectricity, electro-magnetic technology, relativity and early quantum theory. In recent years Katzir focuses on the interactions between physics and technology. Since completing his Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University (2003) he has received research fellowships from the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Leo Baeck Institute (London), Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), an the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. His research at the Minerva Center examines the transfer and transformation of knowledge about piezoelectricity between physics and technology and between different geographical and institutional sites in the developments of important practical methods such as sonar and the quartz clock. Writing a course-book on the history of science from Ancient Greece to the scientific revolution, Katzir explores the transmission of Greek knowledge to the Arab and then to the Latin worlds.

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Stav Kaufman, a doctoral student at the Tel Aviv University Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, was born in Tel Aviv, is married and a mother of twins.  Kaufman received her undergraduate degrees in philosophy, mathematics and computer sciences from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (magna cum laude) and her graduate degree from the Cohn Institute (magna cum laude).  Kaufman takes an interest in the manner by which contemporary research-level mathematical knowledge emerges, as a cultural and social element that exists always within a material medium.  Her work focuses on the “anthropology” or “lab study” of mathematics and mathematicians, based on the belief that the empirical study of “science in action” can lead to important insights regarding the manner in which mathematical knowledge attains such characteristic attributes as being certain, absolute, universal and timeless.  Her thesis, under the guidance of Prof. Rivka Feldhay and Prof. Leo Corry, addressed the process by which a certain mathematical object (a duality transform) developed and became established within current Functional Analysis, demonstrating how mathematical knowledge in general, and specifically mathematical objects, form, crystallize and are preserved by motion and circulation of ideas, emotions, texts, material elements and people. Her doctorate paper will concern Algebraic Geometry.

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Tzvi Langermann is a native New Englander. He earned his B.A. in history from Boston University and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University. Before joining the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University in 1997, he worked for many years cataloguing manuscripts at the Jewish National Library. At The Minerva Humanities Center Langermann leads the working group on the migration of knowledge in the eastern Mediterranean during the late medieval and early modern periods. His own project concerns Yosef Shlomo Delmediggo and the sciences of his day. Langermann is married and has three children.

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Ivor Ludlam teaches ancient Greek and Latin in the Multi-Disciplinary Department at The University of Haifa. His research focuses on analysing Platonic dialogues as philosophical dramas and reconstructing Stoic philosophy. His research at The Minerva Humanities Center reconstructs the convoluted migration and reception of concepts: e.g., impetus (ὁρμή) and probabile (εἰκός, πιθανόν), from the fifth century B.C.E. to the 1700s. His major works include the Books Hippias Major: An Interpretation (Palingenesia XXXVII), Stuttgart 1991 amd Plato’s Republic as a Philosophical Drama on Doing Well, Lexington Books / Lanham 2014. His Doctoral Thesis focused on a second century B.C.E. Stoic: “Antipater of Tarsus: A Critical Edition with Commentary on the Testimonia for his Life, Works and Logic”. He has also published and Article on “Two Long-Running Stoic Myths: A Centralized Orthodox Stoic School and Stoic Scholarchs”, Elenchos XXIV (2003), 33-55.

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Merav Mack received her Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge. She won the Lightfoot Award for Ecclesiastical History and the Lady Davis postdoctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently teaching medieval history at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and a research seminar in the Department of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University on the subject of “Contemporary Christianity in the Holy Land.” Mack is a Research Fellow at the Truman Institute for Peace at the Hebrew University and at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. She has edited a book titled “Captives” (in Hebrew), which will be published in the summer of 2013, as well as a special issue on “Transnationalism and the Contemporary Christian Communities in the Holy Land” at the Journal of Levantine Studies. She is also an associate editor of the book Post-Subjectivity, which will be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in early 2014.

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Daniel Matiuk is a graduate of the General and Interdisciplinary studies program and the Political Science department at Tel-Aviv University (magna cum laude). He recently submitted his M.A. thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Rivka Feldhay and Prof. Eli Friedlander, which dealt with the notion of gesture, the allegorical mode of expression and the French court ballets through the prism of Walter Benjamin’s thought. Apart from this, Matiuk is also a music programmer in two leading Israeli radio stations. He teaches radio at Sapir College and at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlia.

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Ronnie Mirkin received her Ph.D. from the Theatre Department of the Faculty of the Arts at Tel Aviv University. Her field of research is visual culture, specializing in the history of costume. Her MA and doctorate thesis were historically situated in the English Renaissance, and were cultural interpretations based on portraits and costume. The title of her doctoral dissertation is: “‘Be and Seem’: Theatricality and Ambiguity in English Renaissance Costume.” In the Minerva Institute, Mirkin is part of the baroque research group, and her research deals with the arts of spectacle in France in the 17th century. She focuses on the dialogue between the sphere of the Court and the Jesuit Schools, where theatre and ballet were part of the curriculum, in the time of Louis the 14th. For many years Mirkin taught in the Theatre Department at Tel Aviv University. At present she teaches in the Shenkar School of Design. She has published articles in several journals and essays in various books.

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Galia Plotkin Amrami is an anthropologist specializing in historical-anthropological research of psychological and psychiatric knowledge and practices. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University and coordinates (jointly with Prof. Jose Brunner) the research group “Therapy in Translation: Knowledge, Culture and Politics” in the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University. Plotkin received her doctoral degree from The Porter School of Cultural Studies and The Cohn Institute for the History and the Philosophy of Sciences and Ideas at Tel-Aviv University. Her dissertation offered an historical-anthropological analysis of the therapeutic narration of collective suffering resulting from the political-security situation in Israel, beginning in the 1980s. Plotkin’s main research interests are the interaction among therapeutic discourse, national ethos, religion and ethics. She is also interested in the cultural, political, and moral determinants influencing an emergence of new mental illnesses and disorders occurring in particular historical junctures.

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ori rotlevyOri Rotlevy wrote his PhD in philosophy at Tel-Aviv University, and is currently a Minerva Post-Doctoral fellow at the Free University of Berlin. His research interests include epistemology, theories of space, philosophy of history, political theory and the history of modern philosophy. His dissertation reconsiders the relations between Kant and Walter Benjamin by examining the spatial concepts and figures they use to depict thought. Kant’s focus on orientation and Benjamin’s focus on detour and digression are interpreted as expressions of two models of relations between thought and the Ideal, one seeking to fortify the fundamental position of the subject, and the other attempting to transcend subject-object relations altogether. He is currently working on transforming his dissertation to a book manuscript, and extending it to a further project – a comparative study of erring in the history of philosophy. In addition, he is starting a new study of mimetic relations between theory and praxis in the Marxist tradition.

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shoey razShoey Raz is a philosophy and science Researcher, and the leader of the Tel-Aviv group of ELUL: Beit Midrash (Study-Place) of Pluralism, Jewish Culture and Jewish Thought & Religion, Jerusalem. He is a former Kabbalah researcher at The Shlomo Moussaieff Center of Kabbalah Research (Bar Ilan University, Israel). The title of his PhD dissertation, written under the supervision of Prof. Hannah Kasher, and submitted to Bar Ilan University in 2013, is Isaac Ibn Laṭīf— A Philosopher and Metaphysician of the 13th Century: an Intellectual-Historical Inquiry. Among his fields of interest and expertise are Greaco- Arabic- Hebraic Neoplatonism in the Early & High Middle Age ; Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed and its Early Hebraic Commentaries; Solomon Ibn Gabirol’s Fons Vitae and its Arabic Philosophical Sources; Philosophical Mysticism and Metaphysics in Medieval Arabic Philosophical Milieu; Spinoza’s Ethics; Ethics,Science and Kabbalah in Early Modern Europe :Avraham Cohen De Herrera, Yosef Shlomo Delmedigo and Moshe Hayyim Luzato.

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Sinai Rusinek‘s main interests are the History of Concepts and Digital Humanities. Her doctoral dissertation, “Criticus, Kritikos, Critick”, was written under the supervision of Prof. Yemima Ben Menachem and Dr. Ami’el Vardi at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It dealt with the way these words functioned in various contexts and discourses from antiquity to Early Modernity, and with how they changed and were formed through these uses. As a Polonsky Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, she engages in the historical semantics of “Envy” and “Invidia.” Sinai is a member of the board of the Concepta International Research School for the History of Concepts (http://www.concepta-net.org/objectives) and editor-in-chief of the journal Contributions to the History of Concepts (http://www.historyofconcepts.org/). She is also currently leading and participating in projects in the digital humanities (see www.thedigin.org/en).

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Vered Sakal holds a PhD in Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed a post-doctorate at the Tikva Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU. Her fields of research are modern Jewish thought and liberal theory.  She completed a master’s degree in the Department of Jewish thought at Hebrew University; her thesis topic was Mordecai Kaplan’s concept of ‘Nationhood’. Vered was ordained as a Rabbi by Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.

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Ran Segev is a historian of the early modern period, whose interests include religious culture, colonial encounters and the interplay of science and religion, especially as they pertain to the Spanish world. His work focuses on the social, intellectual and religious transformations that accompanied the colonization of America. He completed his PhD at the department of history at the University of Texas, Austin in December 2015, where he wrote his doctoral thesis on the dialogue between Catholicism and the study of nature in Imperial Spain. Presently, he is working on his forthcoming book, which explores the importance of the study of the earth in Spain and its colonies for confessional ends. In this monograph, he shows how in the post-Reformation world empirical data and scholarly disciplines – including geographies, cosmographies and natural histories – were assimilated into Catholic outlooks by providing new ways to conceptualize and transmit religious ideologies.

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Ori Sela is a lecturer in the Department of Far Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. He received his Master’s degree (magna cum laude) from the program for religious studies at Tel Aviv University, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Sela researches the intellectual history of late imperial China, with a focus on the Ming period (1368-1644) and the Ching period (1644-1911), as well as China’s complex transition into the modern period during the 20th century. Sela’s dissertation, titled “Qian Daxin (1728-1804): Knowledge, Identity, and Reception History in China, 1750-1930,” dealt with the ways in which knowledge was produced from the middle of the Ching period until the Republican era of China, and investigated the links between concepts of identity and knowledge during this period. Among other things, Sela examines the relationship between scientific knowledge and the far-reaching changes undergone in China, historiography, categorization of knowledge, and intercultural interactions (with Japan as well as the West); and the implications of these relationships to concepts of identity held by various thinkers.

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Rony Weinstein completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Jewish History at The Hebrew University (1995). In 2000-2001 he was a full fellow at The Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti, Florence). In recent years he was a research fellow at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History at Pisa University. He has recently published a book that investigates the connection between the kabbala and the processes of modernization in the Jewish context during the early modern period (Tel Aviv Publishing House, 2011). Weinstein is currently researching the texts of Josef Karo as generators of modern Jewish law.

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Nathaniel Wolloch received his Ph.D. from the History Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1998). He has taught at various academic institutions in Israel. His research centers on the intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the history of attitudes toward animals and nature in general, the history of historiography and the history of the Enlightenment. He has published articles in various academic journals, and has written two books: Subjugated Animals: Animals and Anthropocentrism in Early Modern European Culture (Humanity Books, 2006); History and Nature in the Enlightenment: Praise of the Mastery of Nature in Eighteenth-Century Historical Literature (Ashgate, 2011). His research at The Minerva Humanities Center deals with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century notions regarding the transmission of cultural knowledge between various peoples.

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Hanan Yoran completed his B.Sc. in mathematics and computer sciences at The Hebrew University and his Ph.D. at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. He is now a lecturer in the Department of General History at Ben-Gurion University. His field of research is early modern intellectual and cultural history, specifically Renaissance Humanism. His book on the construction of the identity of the universal intellectual by the Erasmian Humanists will be published in 2010. The subject of his research at The Minerva Humanities Center is “Renaissance Humanism and Modernity: The Rootless Intellectual and the Groundlessness of Knowledge”.

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Ido Yavetz teaches at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, at Tel Aviv University. He completed his undergraduate studies in physics at TAU and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at the Cohn Institute. His doctoral thesis was on the British physicist Oliver Heaviside, on whom he also later published the book From Obscurity to Enigma: The Work of Oliver Heaviside, 1872-1889 (Birkhäuser, 1995). Yavetz’s main areas of research are the history of classical physics and the history of astronomy. His work also deals with the annals of technology and with the history of the study of insects in the nineteenth century. At The Minerva Humanities Center Yavetz heads a research group that studies the transfer of knowledge and generation of new ideas in Galileo’s physics.

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Gur Zak is a lecturer in the Department of General and Comparative Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his Ph.D. from The Centre for Medieval Studies at The University of Toronto in 2008. His Book Petrarch’s Humanism and the Care of the Self is forthcoming from the Cambridge University Press. His research at The Minerva Humanities Center concerns the spiritual implications of the revival of antiquity in the Renaissance.

Rivka Feldhay; Keren Abbou Hershkovits; Lina Baruch; Michal Brosh Meltzer; Jose Brunner; Raz Chen Morris; Leigh Chipman; Tamar Cholcman; Idit Chikurel; Michael Elazar; Ofer Elior; Asaf Federman; Naveh Frumer; Asaf Goldschmidt; Reut Harari; Gal Herz; Ayelet Ibn Ezra; Chen Iron; Shaul Katzir; Stav Kaufman; Tzvi Langermann; Ivor Ludlam; Merav Mack; Daniel Matiuk; Ronnie Mirkin; Galia Plotkin Amrani; Shoey raz; Sinai Rusinek; Vered Sakal; Ori Sela; Rony Weinstein; Hanan Yoran; Ido Yavetz; Gur Zak.