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Be a research assistant to Prof. Arie Dubnov and work on Fallen Soldiers: The creation of Israel’s commemoration culture.

Professor: Arie Dubnov

Department: History

Title: Fallen Soldiers: The creation of Israel’s commemoration culture

Description: Fallen Soldiers: The creation of Israel’s commemoration culture

Unlike the Veterans Day in the USA, “Yom Hazikaron”, the Israeli Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, takes a different mood and meaning and is even considered a key element of Israeli civil religion. My research wishes to provide a historical analysis of the way in which Israeli culture and society developed the cultural mechanisms of dealing with collective and national grief and how it changed over the years. Being a cultural historian, I will be using a wide range of media, including plastic arts (monuments, paintings, sculptures), literature and poetry. Secondly, the article I am writing is prepared for a collection of essays that will examine the work of the late historian George L Mosse who wrote on the European culture of Fallen Soldiers after WWI. For that reason, it will include a comparative dimension and a re-evaluation of Mosse’s historiographic thesis.


The main tasks of the research assistant would be to identify and survey historiography (historical literature) dealing with Mosse’s work and with Israel’s commemoration culture, that will provide the bibliography of the study. The RA will be asked to find articles and books, and write short synopses, identifying the main argument and finding. Next, the RA will help me in finding rare materials at the Gelman Library’s Kiev Collection and at the Library of Congress.

Familiarity with JSTOR and conducting research in online databases, and familiarity with the Gelman Library’s GRC (Global Resources Center) is required. Knowledge of Hebrew and/or Israeli culture is preferable but not required.

I’d be extremely happy to find a student interested in this topic who might be interested in issues related to history and memory. I am open to the possibility of an independent study as well that will allow the student to gain extra credit, after writing his/her own research essay on the subject.

Time commitment: 1-3 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 1

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: dubnov@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be met. Students selected to be research assistants should contact Ben Faulkner at benfaulkner@gwu.edu whether they intend to pursue credit or not.