Faculty Fellow, Visiting Scholar
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Alon grew up in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and UC Berkeley. He is broadly interested in the theory and practice of writing history displayed in particular in the topics of memory, culture, and nationhood. His work has often taken modern German history as a point of departure, yet has consistently cast its net wider. As a historian, Alon has sought to reach in his work the edges of the historical discipline, those areas of research and theory where the historical method meets ethnography, literature, anthropology, and cultural studies. In his writing over the years, he has sought to craft a narrative weaving together story telling with critical analysis. But in recent years he has been particularly interested in probing into different possibilities of historical narration. In the last few years he worked on the Holocaust and the result is Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust As Historical Understanding (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012) and A World Without Jews: Nazi Germany, Representations of the Past, and the Holocaust. It explores the German sensibilities in the Third Reich that underlie the persecution and extermination of the Jews, making them conceivable and imaginable; the project was awarded a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship and is slated for publication by Yale University Press. Alon is also working now, with an eye to the future, on a history of 1948 in Palestine.