Sara Airoldi received a PhD in History from the Department of History at the State University of Milan in July 2016. Her research interests include Zionism in Western countries before and after WWII; theories of nationalism and processes of formation of collective cultural consciousness. Her dissertation, entitled “Nation within Motherland: Italian Jews and the Challenge of Identity. 1918-1938”, is a study on the influence of Zionism over the self-perception of Italian Jews under the Fascist regime. The ascent of the Jewish nationalist movement is examined as a result of a combination of structural long-term factors and of recent and temporary developments regarding both the Jewish and the Italian context, such as the progressive dissolution of the traditional religious and community frames of reference; the emergence of anti-Semitism and the collapse of liberalism. In the academic year 2014-2015 Sara Airoldi was a Visting Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught at the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies. Recently she has become the editorial assistant of the journal Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History.
Chiara Camarda obtained a PhD in Asian and African Studies (Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies) at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Her dissertation, entitled Tracing the Hebrew Book Collection of the Venice Ghetto, traces the history of the early Hebrew book collection of the Jewish Community of Venice, and includes a résumé of the history of Hebrew printing from its beginning to the 20th century. Chiara has catalogued this Venetian book collection from 2013 to 2015, taking note of all the footprints that she found on the copies (ex libris, signatures, inscriptions, stamps, and censor’s notes) and including them in the catalogue I libri del Ghetto: Catalogo dei libri ebraici della Comunità Ebraica di Venezia (secc. XVI-XX) (Padova: Il Prato, 2016). These footprints have been her main research interest, and she has been dealing with family trees and old registers for two years, identifying many former owners of the books.
Chiara is now concentrating on the history of Sicilian Jewry, wishing to develop a similar project on the Jewish cultural heritage in Sicily.
Avigail Oren: I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University, and I specialize in 20th century U.S. urban history. My interests range from ethnic and race relations to Jewish studies to the history of how the public health and social welfare infrastructure of American cities was built over the past 100 years. My dissertation, “Adjusting to Change: The Jewish Community Center Movement in Postwar Urban America, 1945-1980,” examines how JCCs began to provide vital social programs and services to diverse members of their communities without compromising their sectarian Jewish identity. When I am not buried in books and accidently staining all of my clothes with highlighter, I can most often be found in the yoga studio or knitting on the couch while watching TV with my best decision ever, Kevin.
Amanda Sharick is a PhD candiate in English at the University of California, Riverside. Currently, Amanda is a Graduate Research Associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute in Waltham, Massachusetts, as well as a Program Manager for Harvard University’s Graduate Commons Program. Her dissertation, ‘Upon the threshold’: Anglo-American Jewish Women Writers’ Counterhistories of Liberal Citizenship and Jewish Nationalism (1880-1918), establishes that a transatlantic network of Anglo-American Jewish women writers used “counterhistory,” its generic features and framework, to negotiate, critique, and revise inequitable definitions of citizenship and emerging forms of Jewish national identity.
Katie Trostel is a PhD candidate in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation project, “Memoryscapes: Women Chart the Post-Trauma City in 20th and 21st Century Latin America,” examines the treatment of urban space and memories of state-sponsored violence in the works of Latin American women writers of the post-trauma or post-dictatorship generation; her work analyzes a largely unexplored archive of contemporary fiction that represents public spaces in the post-trauma city, and negotiates the relationship between collective and individual memory. As a part of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration, she has worked with Chilean-Jewish author, Marjorie Agosín, to create a digital mapping project, exploring the legacy of the Venice Ghetto. You can learn more about her work here, or follow her on Twitter @KatieTrostel.