Shay Hazkani
Assistant Professor

Shay Hazkani is a historian of the modern Middle East, with a particular interest in the social and cultural history of Palestine/Israel, and Middle Eastern Jews. In his research and teaching he focuses on the interactions between elites and non-elites, and how ideas which emanate from elites and state institutions were transformed and subverted as they make their way to the reflections and conduct of ordinary people.

His book, Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War (Stanford University Press, 2021) recasts the 1948 war in Palestine through a socio-cultural history of the conflict’s ordinary actors and its transnational reverberations. It draws on never-before-used personal letters in Arabic and Hebrew which challenge the war accounts of politicians and generals, whose words continue to shape histories of the conflict. The book also examines how the architects of the conflict worked to influence and indoctrinate key ideologies in ordinary soldiers, by examining battle orders, pamphlets, army magazines, and radio broadcasts. Through two narratives—the official and unofficial, the propaganda and the personal letters—Dear Palestine reveals the fissures between sanctioned nationalism and individual identity.

Hazkani earned his PhD in History and Judaic studies from New York University, his Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and his BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University. His work has been published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Israel Studies Review, and the Israeli-daily Haaretz.

Hazkani is involved in the debate on archival declassification policies in Israel. On January 1st 2019, he petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court together with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, demanding that the Israeli domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet, release documents from its archives on the suppression of Mizrahi protest in the 1950s.

Office Hours: 
Monday: 3:00 PM-4:00 PM
4123
Susquehanna Hall
301-405-3693