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Department of Social Anthropology

 

Biography

My work applies integrative feminist and emotional analysis of the city sphere and provides a thick ethnographic description of liminal neighborhoods, located at the margins of the cosmopolitan center. My Doctoral research (PhD University of Haifa, 2016) focused on belonging and place identification among the long-term residents of the HaTikva neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Originally a lower-income area of Mizrahi Jews (Jews who immigrated to Israel from Arab countries), HaTikva has undergone dramatic transformation following the recent arrival of African migrant workers and asylum seekers and subsequent contraction of the Mizrahi community.

In my dissertation, developed into a book titled: Hope and Melancholy on an Urban Frontier: Ethnicity, Space and Gender in the HaTikva Neighborhood, Tel Aviv (University of Haifa Press & Pardes Publishing, 2020) as well as in associated publications I present a socio-spatial analyses of the urban sphere claiming for the exitance of multilayered melancholy. My writings capture the sentiment of sadness that emerges during personal or collective loss among this marginalized group located at the fringe of Israeli society and urbanity. By tracing the link between the emotional charge of the neighborhood and its long-term residents' biographies and identities, my work connects the relatively new concepts of ethnic, gender and spatial melancholy, which are usually discussed separately in the literature.

I remain committed to the study of social hierarchies in Israeli urban space also in my second research project, conducted as part of  ISF-funded project titled ‘Tel Aviv Metropolitan Ecologies: Comprehending Socio-environmental Sustainability through Participatory Media’. The main objective of the research is to understand how people perceive environmental systems, places, and socio-environmental disparities in their immediate locales and extended metropolitan area. As a Research  Associate, I have provided a sociocultural anthropological perspective on the Israeli urban sphere and society during data collection and analysis. This perspective will guide me through in my new postdoctoral research project on Gan HaHashmal, a gentrifying neighborhood in downtown Tel Aviv, that will provide yet another opportunity to present a nuanced description of a liminal neighborhood experiencing radical urban transformation, and to trace the link between social identities and space production.

 

In parallel to my research projects in recent years, I taught classes in anthropology, qualitative methods, and urban studies. This included teaching core courses such as Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Qualitative Research Methods, as well as an interdisciplinary Introduction to Urban Anthropology. I also taught smaller, more intimate classes, such as Learning by Experiencing the Field, and Planning with the Community (with Prof. Rachel Kallus). In these classes, I engage students by developing open reflexive dialogue based on “hands-on” assignments that often include meeting people in the field. The reflexive tone I use in the discussions, in smaller as well as larger classes, often raises issues of social locations and life experiences out of an understating that “the personal is political”, whereby autobiographical stories are mirror social challenges and inequalities. In doing so, my aim is to develop the students’ sensibility towards the Other as well as towards their own vulnerability.

Publications

 

Books

2020 Hope and Melancholy on the Urban Frontier: Ethnicity, Space, and Gender in the Southern Tel Aviv HaTikva Neighborhood. Haifa: University of Haifa Press and Pardes Publishing. (Hebrew)

 

Peer-reviewed Articles

2021 (forthcoming) Place melancholy among the older Mizrahi women of HaTikva neighborhood in Downtown Tel Aviv. Gender, Place and Culture.

2021 People as environment: Local Environmental Concerns and Urban marginality in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Region (with Nathan Marom). Local Environment, 26(5), 615-631

2019 The construction of multi-layered melancholy in peripheral Tel Aviv. Emotion Space and Society 32, 1-7.

2018 Melancholic citizenship in the south Tel Aviv: Protest against global migrationCitizenship Studies22(3), 259-277

2015 (With Kallus, R.) Professional education in an ethno-nationally contested city: Architectural students engage with their professional and national identities. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 32(1), 40-54.

 

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2017 Reflexive approach for architectural education: Students engage with their professional and national identities in an ethno-nationally contested city (with Rachel Kallus). In D. Golan, J. Rosenfeld, & Z. Orr, (Eds.), Campus-community partnership in Israel (pp. 70-92). Tel-Aviv: Mofet. (Hebrew)

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