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Yael Almog

Yael Almog is a Doctoral Candidate in the German Department at the University of California in Berkeley, studying German literature from 1750 till the present, Jewish and religious studies, literary theory, and continental philosophy. With Erik Born, she edited the volume Neighbors and Neighborhoods in the German-Speaking World (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) which scrutinizes instances of “neighborliness” in German literature, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy in conjunction with works by Freud, Benjamin, and Eric Santner. Concurrently to her dissertation, she is working on the first Hebrew translation of Herder’s Treatise on the Origins of Language, which, together with her introduction and comments, is forthcoming with Resling Publishers.


Hebrew Reminiscences: Global Religion, Politics and Aesthetics in the Rise of Hermeneutic Thinking

Almog’s dissertation demonstrates that salient notions of literary interpretation—such as reading through empathy (Einfühlung), translation theory, and textual restoration—emerged with the broad fascination with Hebraism in the German enlightenment. As shown in the works of Herder, Goethe, Hamann, Klopstock and Mendelssohn, literary and philosophical rebels sought in the Hebrew Bible original aesthetic and political models with which to elucidate and negotiate new subject positions in the rise of the nation state. The dissertation thus intervenes with debates on the Enlightenment secularist legacy in its examination of how the wide impact of Hebraism monitored the mutually-dependent paradigm shifts in theology and interpretation while making notions of interreligious exchange formative for modern norms of cultural production, sensibility, and political agency.


Yael Almog and Erik Born (eds.) Neighbors and Neighborhoods: Living Together in the German-Speaking World,CambridgeScholars Publishers, 2012.


Johann Gottfried Herder, Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Sprache (with comments and introduction)
(Hebrew version forthcoming with Resling Publishers).

Dan Diner, Natasha Gordinsky and Susanne Zepp. Kanon und Diskurs: Über Literarisierung jüdischer Erfahrungswelten. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009.
(Hebrew version forthcoming with Mosad Bi‘alik, 2013)


1. “Aesthetic Exegesis: The Hebrew Imaginary in Hamann and Herder and the Idea of Textual Comprehension.” Forthcoming in Hebrew between Jews and Christians, Daniel Stein Kokin (ed.), Walter de Gruyter. Collection under provisional contract

2. “SublimeReadings: The Emergence of the Aesthetic Bible in Herder’s Writings on Hebrew Poetry.” The Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook, November 2013, Vol. 12, 337-352.

3. “’Flowing Myrrh upon the Handles of the Bolt’: Bodily Borders, Social Norms, and their Transgression in the Song of Songs.” Biblical Interpretation, May 2010, Vol. 18, 251-263.

Book Review

May Mergenthaler, Zwischen Eros und Mitteilung: die Frühromantik im Symposion der "Athenaeums-Fragmente”.Paderborn: Schöningh, 2012. Forthcoming in MLN, fall 2013.