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Dr. Chen Bar-Itzhak

bldg. 1004 room 103
Fields of Interest

Literary urban studies, cultural memory and nostalgia, literary theory, world literature

Reception Hours
by appointment

Chen Bar-Itzhak received her PhD from the Department of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford and a post-doctoral fellow at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the literary representations of cities and urban life, the ties between literature and cultural memory, and world literature studies. Her research won her the Nathan Rotenstreich fellowship, the Sami Michael prize for excellence in research, the Dr. Eli Reinhard post-doctoral fellowship from Stanford University and a grant from the World Union of Jewish Studies.  In 2021 she joined the Department of Comparative Literature at Bar-Ilan University.         

Her first book, "A Mixed Space: Haifa in the Israeli Literary Imagination" is forthcoming with the Ben Gurion Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism. With Vered K. Shemtov, she edited "Literary Multilingualism", a special issue for Stanford University's Dibur Literary Journal. Her published and forthcoming articles and book chapters touch on topics related to literary urban studies, the ties between language, space, memory and ideology, the contact zones between Hebrew and Arabic literatures, and theoretical aspects of world literature studies.

In addition, Dr. Bar-Itzhak is a board member of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS) and an editor of Stanford University's peer-reviewed Dibur Literary Journal.


Dr. Bar-Itzhak's research focuses on three main research areas: literary urban studies, cultural memory and nostalgia, and theoretical aspects of world literature studies. Her first (forthcoming) book, based on a prize-winning manuscript, develops a new theoretical model for the study of literary cities, and explores the city of Haifa in the Israeli literary imagination through a study of over 50 works of fiction. Her other published/forthcoming works address the complex relations between space, memory, language and ideology in Israeli literature and culture, the contact zones between Hebrew and Arabic literatures, and theoretical issues in world literature.
She is currently working on a book-length study of Nostalgia for the British Mandate in contemporary Israeli culture, examining works of literature, visual art and popular culture.


- The City in Literature and Culture

- Nostalgia: Between Past, Present and Future

- Introduction to African American Literature



Bar-Itzhak, Chen. A Mixed Space: Haifa in the Israeli Literary Imagination. (Forthcoming, Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, in Hebrew)

Shemtov, Vered K. and Chen Bar-Itzhak (Eds.). 2019. Literary Multilingualism, special issue, Dibur Literary Journal 7.

Selected Articles:

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. 2021. "From Utopia to Retrotopia: The Cosmopolitan City in the Aftermath of Modernity". In: Salmela, Markku et al. (eds.), Literatures of Urban Possibility. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, pp. 65-87.

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. 2020. "Intellectual Captivity: Literary Theory, World Literature and the Ethics of Interpretation". Journal of World Literature 5(1), pp. 79-110.

Bar-Itzhak, Chen and Shahar Bar-Itzhak. 2020. “’Once There Were No Borders’: Constructing Place Identity in an Online Polyphonic Narrative”. In: Sebba-Elran, Tsafi et. al. Masoret Haya. Haifa: IFA, University of Haifa and Pardes Publishing, pp. 347-361. (In Hebrew)

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. 2019. "Literary Multilingualism: Representation, Form, Interpretation – an Introduction" Literary Multilingualism , special issue, Dibur Literary Journal, pp. 1-6.

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. 2016. “The Poetics of De-Othering: Sami Michael’s Early Haifa Novels”. In: Schwartz, Yigal (ed.). Prince and Revolutionary: Readings in Sami Michael’s Prose. Tel-Aviv and Beer-Sheva: Gama Press and Heksherim Institute, Ben-Gurion University, pp. 110-127. (In Hebrew)

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. 2016. "The Dissolution of Utopia: Literary Representations of the City of Haifa, between Herzl's Altneuland and Later Israeli Works". Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 14(2), pp. 323-342.

Last Updated Date : 02/06/2022