Prof. Manuela Consonni, Pela and Adam Starkopf Chair in Holocaust Studies
(Italian History; Italian Jewish History; Italian Modern and Contemporary History; Political and Social History of Modern and Contemporary Europe; Shoah Literature and History; History of Antisemitism and Racism)
I studied History of the British Labor Movement and Italian History under the guidance of Paolo Spriano, one of the most prominent Italian Marxist Historian at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. I made Aliya in 1988 and, I entered the Ph.D. Program at the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but I had to interrupt my studies for severe health reason. I renew my Ph.D. studies in 1998, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the Department of Contemporary Jewry, with a thesis on the History and the Memory of the Deportation and Extermination in Italy, 1945-1985, which I completed in 2004 with summa cum laude, under the supervision of Prof. David Bankier, and Prof. Sergio Della Pergola. The dissertation was revised in a manuscript which was published in 2010 by Magnes University Press by the title: Resistance or Shoah? The Memory of the Deportation and the extermination in Italy, 1945-1985. Between 1989-1998, I taught at the Department of Italian Studies, and from 1998 until 2003 I taught at the Departments of Jewish History and of Contemporary Jewry several courses on Italian Modern Jewish History; on the Memory of the Holocaust and of the Resistance in Italy, in France and Belgium; on Historiography and on Methodology of the Historical Discipline.
In the Academic year 2003-2004, I won the post-doctoral Fellowship at the Max Plank Institute in Berlin, under the guidance of Prof. Gisela Bock, at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute at the Frei Universität, Berlin; and the Visiting Fellow Grant at the School of Theory and Criticism at Cornell University, Ithaca, under the guidance of Prof. Dominick LaCapra. In 2004, I won the 3 years Post-Doc position at the Mandel Scholion Research Center at the Hebrew University and in the 2007, I was a fellow member in the 3 years Research Group Grant on Knowledge and Pain, with Prof. Esther Cohen (History Department – Middle Age Italian and French History); Prof. Otniel Dror (Medical School – Genetics and XIX-XX Century Medicine in the West), and Prof. Leona Toker (English Department – Russian Literature and Gulag Memoirs), at the Mandel Scholion Research Center at the Hebrew University. Esther Cohen, Leona Toker, Manuela Consonni, Otniel E. Dror (eds.), Knowledge and Pain (Amsterdam: Brill, 2012).
In 2011 I was a tenured-track Senior Lecture at the School of History, at the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies and at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2012 to 2017 I served as Chair of the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, and director of the Italian Studies Program, while receiving the tenure as Associate Professor in 2015. In the same year I was appointed as Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, capacity that I am holding until today; and director of the Italian Studies Program within the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies. In 2016 I was awarded by the Polonsky Price for the Originality and Novelty in the Humanities with
the book Resistenza, Questione ebraica e Cultura Politica in Italia, 1943-1989 (An English translation is forthcoming with Indiana University Press). And in 2016 I was appointed the Pela and Adam Starkopf Chair in Holocaust Studies. From 2018, I was nominated Head of the Department of Romance Studies, capacity I am holding until today.
I am working on a forthcoming book on Julius Evola, and the Cultural Roots of the Radical Right: Tradition and Antisemitism. A study on Etiology of Hate. Among my articles: "Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and the Body of the Muselman," Partial Answers 7/2 (June 2009): 243-259; "The new grammar of the Otherness: Europe, the Shoah and the Jews", Jewish History, 24, 2, 2010; “Oblivion and Denial in the Italian Post WWII Resistance Ethos.” Collaboration with the Nazis: Collective Memory and Public Discourse" ed. R. Stauber, London: Routledge, 2010"After the Camps: Semantic Shift and the Experience of Pain" ', in Knowledge and Pain, Amsterdam: Brill, 2012 ; "The Holocaust, women and writing in Italy", Quaderni Storici, 2, 2012; “Dem Tod durch den Tod entfliehen“, Jean Amery ‚... als Gelengenheitsgast, ohne jedes Engagement, Yfaat Weiss and Ulrich Bielefeld (eds.), Hamburg: Wilhem Fink, 2014; “Split at the Root: Italian Jewish Identity Between Anti-Zionism and Philo-Semitism, 1961-1967", Jewish Identity in Post-Modern Society Series, Research in Jewish Demography and Identity, Essays in Honor of Prof. Sergio Della Pergola, Eli Lederhendler and Uzi Rebhun eds., Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2015; “A Spanish destiny: Renzo Giua and Giustizia e libertà. In Memoriam”, Spain 1936: Year Zero, eds. Raanan Rein and Joan Maria Thomas, Sussex Academic Press, 2018; "The Jews after Sartre" in Sartre, the Jew and the Other, De Gruyter, 2020. I edited Giacomo Debenedetti, Sheshesre le-October 1943: Shmona Yehudiim, Taalat haYehudim uZeevei Yareah Male, trans. Manuela Consonni, Noa Koren, Shachar Livne and Ariel Rathhaus; Scientific Apparatus Manuela Consonni; Introductory article: Manuela Consonni, “Giacomo Debenedetti: Sipuro shel Intelelctual lo mugan”; Preface Ariel Hirschfeld, Magnes University Press, Jerusalem 2019 (the Hebrew version of Giacomo Debendetti 's 16 ottobre 1943 and Otto ebrei 1944-1945,) with the support of the Italian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and the Italian International Cooperation for the new series Gli occhiali d'oro (The Golden Glasses).
I co-edited with Federico Italiano Primo Levi: In memoriam, Sprachkunst. Beiträgezur Literaturwissenschaft, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wien (In English and in German), 2018 and with Vivian Liska, Sartre, the Jew and the Other, The Vidal Sasson Studies in Antisemitism, Racism and Prejudice, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020. I am currently co-editing another volume on Witnessing the Witness with Philip Nord, forthcoming with De Gruyter in 2021. I am member of the Editorial Board of the Journals: Rassegna Mensile di Israel, Roma and Studies in Antisemitism, Indiana University Press; and the editor of The Vidal Sassoon Studies in Antisemitism, Racism and Prejudice, for the De Gruyter Publishing House. I am a Board Member of the Academic Council of Magnes University Press, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I was awarded with several prizes, among them: Ben Zion Dinur Prize for Research in Jewish History for Academic Excellence; The Post-Doctoral Corinaldi Prize for
Italian Jewry, Ephraim E. Urbach International Prize for Academic Excellence, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York; The Warburg Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Excellence, and The Viterbi Visiting Scholar Professorship at the Center for Mediterranean Jewish Studies, at UCLA. I was appointed by the President of the Italian Republic Cavaliere of the Star of Italy.