Fellows – Lexicon for Political Theory

Fellows – Lexicon for Political Theory

Ariel Handel is the director of the Lexicon for Political Theory project at the Minerva Humanities Center since 2015. His main interests are critical political geography and political theory. Handel published numerous journal papers and book chapters on issues of space, politics, power and violence. His recent publications include “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex in the West Bank” (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2014); “Wine-Washing: Colonization, Normalization and the Geopolitics of terroir in the West Bank’s Settlements” (Environment and Planning A, 2015); “What is occupied in Palestine” (Political Geography, 2015). Handel is the editor-in-chief of The Political Lexicon of the Social Protest (Hakibutz Hameuchad, 2012), and the co-editor of Normalizing Occupation: Making of the Jewish Settlements in the West Bank (Indiana University Press, 2016).

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Adi Ophir, former director of the Lexicon for Political Theory research project at The Minerva Humanities Center, is professor at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Ophir’s main interest is political theory, political theology, and modern and contemporary continental philosophy with special emphasis on critical theory. In the early nineteen nineties Ophir founded and edited Theory and Criticism, the main Hebrew journal for critical theory; in 2008 he founded The lexicon Project, which later became part of the Minerva Humanities Center, together with its online peer review journal, Mafte’akh: Lexical Review for Political Thought. He wrote on twentieth-century thinkers like Arendt, Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, Levinas, and Agamben, and about various aspects of Israeli politics, culture, and society. In his Order of Evils (Zone Books, 2005) he presents an outline for a “moral ontology” based on an understanding of the social production and distribution of “evils” (losses, damages, injuries, suffering, and risks), and proposes a new interpretation of the concepts of evil and injustice. Working for the Present (Avodat Hahove, Hakkibutz Hameuchad, 2001) is a collection of deconstructive readings of some major texts and events in contemporary Israeli culture. In 2002 he published with Ariella Azoulay Terrible Days (Yamim Raim, Resling), a collection of critical essays on the political situation in Israel. The One State Condition, his most recent book, co-authored with Azoulay (Resling 2008 in Hebrew; Standford 2012), is an historical survey and a comprehensive anatomy of the Israeli rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and its impact on the Israeli political system. Ophir is also the editor, together with Michal Givoni and Sari Hanafi, of The Power of Inclusive Exclusion: Israeli Rule in the Occupied Territories (Zone Books, 2009), a volume dedicated to the study of various aspects, techniques, and apparatuses involved in the Israeli rule in the Occupation Territories. Ophir’s forthcoming book, Divine Violence: Two Essays on God and Disaster (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) reconstructs different models of theocracy in the Hebrew Bible and juxtaposes the role of disaster in biblical theocracies with its role in modern state governance.

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Merav Amir is a lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast. Her fields of research include border studies, critical security studies, political activism, gender and queer theory. She received her PhD from The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas and from The Shirley and Leslie Porter School of Cultural Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her dissertation examines the concept of the border in the regime of movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Her publications include: “The Making of a Void Sovereignty: Political Implications of the Military Checkpoints in the West Bank” in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; “Women Speaking of National Security: The Case of Checkpoint Watch” in International Political Sociology  “On the Border of Indeterminacy: The Separation Wall in East Jerusalem” in Geopolitics; and (with Hagar Kotef) “Limits of Dissent, Perils of Activism: Spaces of Resistance and the New Security Logic” in Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. In the lexicon project she studies the concepts of security, border and political action.

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Yishai Blank is a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s Law Faculty, where he also serves as chair of the LL.A. committee. Blank holds an LL.B. and an additional B.A. in philosophy (both cum laude) from TAU; he earned his S.J.D. at Harvard University. He researches and teaches administrative law, local government law, law and space, legal theory, and political thought. His articles on topics in these fields have appeared in leading publications in Israel and abroad. He is currently researching the legal changes taking place in global cities, and the decentralization and expansion of the role of local governments and other non-state entities with respect to church-state issues. Blank has been a visiting professor at several universities in the United States, among them Brown and Cornell. He was awarded a grant from the Israeli Science Foundation and was a member of the Young Scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences Forum of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

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Lin Chalozin-Dovrat specializes in cognitive approaches to the study of scientific knowledge, and in the historical epistemology of cognitive linguistics and structural linguistics.  Her doctoral thesis, submitted to Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV) and Tel Aviv University (2014), examined one of the dominant paradigms in cognitive linguistics today, namely, that spatial cognition shapes our perception of time. By demonstrating that the relations between time and space cognition are the product of a specific historical evolution in science, the thesis hoped to suggest new directions for research into the linguistic evidence of temporal cognition. Lin’s new research seeks to explain the infamous Crisis of the Humanities by taking a careful look at the history of the cognitive sciences. Some of the first insights leading to this research were published in an introductory chapter to a special volume titled “Discourse and Crisis” (DAPSAC, John Benjamins, 2013). Lin coordinates the research group “The Public Role of the Academia”, a joint project of the Minerva Humanities Center and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. The group aims to produce original research on the distinctive situation of the university in Israel today, and the interface between the production of knowledge and the social, political and economic conditions in which knowledge takes shape.

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Udi Edelman is a student at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University. His master’s thesis deals with contemporary political activism and with embarrassment and embarrassing as tactics of political action. Edelman is the co-editor of Mafte’akh – A Lexical Review of Political Thought, published by The Minerva Humanities Center. He is a curator and director of research and academic connections at the Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon. Among the exhibitions and projects he curated: “Where To?” (2012), “Histories” (2013) and “State<Chronicle” (2013). His own research in the Lexicon project examines the concept-art relations.

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Ronen Eidelman is an artist, writer, and activist engaged in linking art, culture, and grassroots politics. He has participated in many exhibitions and cultural and political events worldwide, and has created numerous artistic projects in the public sphere. Eidelman was born in New York City, grew up in Jerusalem, and is now based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. He is the Co-founder and editor of Erev-Rav the leading online art and culture magazine in Hebrew and  Founded and edited numerous art and social political magazines and journals such as  “Maarav” (www.maarav.org.il)  which he created for six years. Eidelman is a graduate of the MFA program for Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus University in Weimar; a lecturer on art and social change at Minshar Art College; and active in anti-occupation and anti-capitalist activist groups. The artistic projects he will initiate in the Lexicon group will deal with notions of security, memory, and the relations between them.

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Uri Eran is a philosophy graduate student at Indiana University. His  main interests are moral and political philosophy and their inter-relations, and Kant’s practical philosophy. He is co-editor of Mafte’akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought, and has taught at the Philosophy Department and at the Unit for Science-Oriented Youth at Tel-Aviv University.

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Efrat Even-tzur is a child psychologist, text editor, and a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University School of Psychological Sciences. Both her academic interests and her political activism are focused on the interface between psychoanalysis, ethics and politics – a realm she intends to explore as part of the Lexicon Group. Her dissertation, under the supervision of Prof. Uri Hadar, deals with the psychology of socially accepted violence and includes an attempt to interlace classical psychoanalytic thought with philosophical and sociological ideas. The concepts she explores include violence, legitimation, perversion, identification and play.

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Dani Filc was born in Argentina (1959) and finished medical school at the Buenos Aires University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Filc is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University, a physician at Clalit Health Services, and Chairperson of Physicians for Human Right/Israel. His publications include: Populism and Hegemony in Israel (Resling, 2006; in Hebrew), Circles of Exclusion: The Politics of Care in Israel (Cornell University Press, 2009), and The political right in Israel: the many faces of Jewish populism (Routledge, 2009). His research at the lexicon group will aim at critically redefining a cluster of concepts related to the field of the political economy of the body, such as body image, brain, cosmetics, genetics, health, hospital, nutrition, organ, wellbeing, and others. Filc is married to Myri and a father of four.

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Ruthie Ginsburg is a visual culture researcher. She is leading the Photo-Lexic research group at the Minerva Center, a group which focuses on political aspects of photography and the moving image. She is teaching at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Ben-Gurion University, and Tel Aviv University, on subjects of visual research, theory of photography, art activism, gender and documentation. She is the author of the book  And You will Serve as Eyes for Us, Israeli Human Rights Organizations as seen through the Camera’s Eye (Resling, 2014; in Hebrew).

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Michal Givoni teaches at the department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University. She works in the field of contemporary political theory and studies the intersections of non-governmental politics and moral sensibility. Her work explores the history, ethics and politics of humanitarian action; the ethics of witnessing and testimony; cosmopolitanism; and innovative technologies of public participation. Givoni completed her PhD studies at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University (2008) and was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley (2011). Her book, Ethical Witnessing: A History of a Problem is forthcoming in Hebrew at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute / Hakibutz Hame’uchad publishing house.

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Alma Itzhaky is an artist and a PhD student student at the Tel-Aviv University, the School of Philosophy. In her doctoral research, Itzhaky investigates conceptions of action in contemporary art, in light of Hannah Arendt’s philosophy of action. Her Master thesis focused on the Psychoanalytic Act in the teaching of Jacques Lacan. Itzhaky’s artistic work has won several prizes, including the Rappaport Prize for a Young Israeli Artist, and the Osnat Mozes Painting Prize. In recent years she presented two solo exhibitions, and participated in numerous group exhibitions. Itzhaky teaches art in the Interdisciplinary Art Department at Shenkar Academy. Web Site: www.almaitzhaky.com

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Yoav Kenny is a Fulbright post-doctoral fellow at the Rhetoric department in the University of California at Berkeley, and editor-in-chief of Mafte’akh, where he also wrote the entry Declaration. He completed his PhD in Tel Aviv University’s School of Philosophy, and his research focuses on the ethical and political significances of the philosophical conceptualization of non-human animals, especially in post-Heideggerian thought. He is the recipient of the 2013-14 Dan David post-doctoral award, and the 2014-15 Fulbright post-doctoral award

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Hagar Kotef is a fellow and the former managing director of the Lexicon Project at the Minerva Humanities Center and an Assistant Professor in the Gender Studies Program at Bar Ilan University. She works on feminist theory, political philosophy, critical theory, and post-colonialism.  Her book, Movement and the Ordering of Freedom (2015, Duke University Press) examines the conceptual ties of movement and freedom in liberal thought, thereby offering a revisited reading in liberal philosophy, as well as in contemporary political spaces. Kotef is one of the editors of Mafte’akh and author of the entries “house/home” and “movement.” She published essays in leading journals, including Political Theory, Antipode, Theory Culture and Society and others.

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Roy Kreitner teaches contracts, jurisprudence, and commercial law at the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on private law theory, the legal history of contracts, and the history and theory of money. He is the author of Calculating Promises: The Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine (Stanford University Press, 2007), which won the American Society for Legal History’s 2007 Cromwell Book Prize. Kreitner, who earned his S.J.D. at Harvard University, has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Council for Higher Education in Israel, the Israel Science Foundation, the European Union’s TMR Network Project on European Private Law, and the Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund at Harvard Law School. This year (2009-10) Kreitner is a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.

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Shai Lavi is a senior lecturer and the director of the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. He received his Ph.D. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at The University of California, Berkeley. His book The Modern Art of Dying: A History of Euthanasia in the United States (Princeton University Press) won the 2006 Distinguished Book Award in sociology of law from the American Sociological Association. Lavi was a Fulbright fellow at The University of California, Berkeley; a visiting professor at Toronto University; and a Humboldt fellow at The Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture in Leipzig and at the Faculty of Law at The Humboldt University, Berlin. He is currently working on the history of Jews and Muslims in Germany, with a special focus on the debate regarding animal slaughter rituals.

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Uzi Livneh received a B.A. in philosophy from Tel Aviv University and now is a Ph.D. candidate there. His dissertation concerns the political thought of Michel Foucault. His research in the Lexicon group will address the concept of political change/revolution and the various ways in which political thinkers and revolutionaries have conceptualized and tried to achieve radical change in the political and social fields.

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Chen Misgav is a town planner and geographer. His work focuses on social and cultural geographies, working with communities, qualitative methodologies, spatial activism and social movements, gender and queer geographies and identities. Chen graduated his MSc  in the Town and Regional planning program at the Technion where he wrote his thesis on the perceptions and needs of LGBT people in the urban space of Tel-Aviv. At the moment he is a PhD candidate in the department of Geography and Human environment and the PECLAB (Planning with Communities for the Environment) at Tel-Aviv University, Israel and his PhD research deals with “Spatial Activism: Perspectives of Body, Identity and Memory” under the supervision of Prof. Tovi Fenster. Chen published some journal papers and book chapters in Hebrew, Italian and English. He currently works as a research coordinator in Minerva center in Tel-Aviv University and teaches some courses in the Urban Design program in Bezalel and in the department of Geography and Human Environment in Tel-Aviv University.

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Daniel Mishori is a faculty member at The Porter School of Environmental Studies and The Department of Geography and the Human Environment in Tel Aviv University. Topics of recent publications and research include environmental ethics, the commons, business ethics, bioethics, workers rights and precarious employment, epistemology and argumentation, environmental justice and green lifestyle (bicycle, consumerism, physical activity). Mishori has co-edited, with (former MK) Anat Maor, a book on “Precarious Employment ” (The Social Economic Academy and Ahva Publishing, 2012).

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Itay Snir is a post-doctoral fellow in The Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies at The Open University of Israel, and one of the co-editors of Mafte’akh. His research interests are political philosophy, philosophy of education, history of philosophy and philosophy of language. Itay wrote his dissertation on the concept of common sense in The School of philosophy, Tel Aviv University. He received his M.A. (summa cum laude) from the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv University, and his B.A. (summa cum laude) from the Philosophy Department and the Multidisciplinary Program in the Arts, also at TAU. He teaches philosophy at “Alon” high-school, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and HaMidrasha Faculty of Arts, Beit-Berl College.

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Roy Wagner holds a Ph.D. in mathematics (1997) and a Ph.D. in philosophy (2007) from Tel Aviv University. He has publishes papers in mathematics, philosophy, history of mathematics, and critical theory. Wagner teaches in the Computer Science Department at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. In 2009 he published the book S(zp,zp): Post-Structural Readings of Gödel’s Proof. His project in the Lexicon group concerns the micropolitics of resistance from the margins. Relevant concepts include “state”, “resistance”, “definition”, and concepts related to various minorities.

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Noam Yuran specializes in political economy, media and popular culture. His last book, What Money Wants: an Economy of Desire (Stanford University Press, 2014), presents a theory of money as an object of desire. It asks why orthodox economics cannot account for greed as an economic phenomenon. Drawing from the works of Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen and Max Weber, the book elaborates an alternative philosophical ground for economic thought, wherein greed can be conceived as an essential element of capitalist economy. Noam teaches and studies television in political and philosophical contexts and investigates Israeli culture in the theoretical context of the state. He is the author of Channel 2 TV: The New Etatism (Resling, 2001) and The Erotic Word: Three readings in the Work of Hanoch Levin (Haifa University Press, 2002).

Adi Ophir; Merav Amir; Yishai Blank; Lin Chalozin-Dovrat; Udi Edelman; Ronen Eidelman; Uri Eran; Efrat Even-tzur; Dani Filc; Ruthie Ginsburg; Michal Givoni; Ariel Handel; Alma Itzhaky; Yoav Kenny; Roy Kreitner; Shai Lavi; Uzi Livneh; Chen Misgav; Daniel Mishori; Itay Snir; Roy Wagner; Noam Yuran.