Universiteit Leiden

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Lital Abazon

University lecturer

Dr. L. Abazon
+31 71 527 2287

Lital Abazon (Ph.D. Comp. Lit., Yale 23') is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature of the Middle East, specializing in Modern Hebrew.

More information about Lital Abazon

Fields of interest

  • Modern Hebrew Literature
  • French and Arabic Maghrebi Literature
  • Multilingualism
  • Nationalism
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Psychoanalytic Language Theory
  • Translation Studies.


My research lies at the intersection of nationality, ethnicity, and language. It is concerned with what happens when those clash with one another. I examine the nature of such conflicts in Hebrew, French and Arabic literary oeuvres of the Middle East and Maghreb. My book project, Speaking Sovereignty: The Plight of Multilingual Literature in Independent Israel, Morocco and Algeria, explores the ways in which multilingual literary texts articulate alternatives to the monolingual ideals of nationalist discourse. Such texts oppose the national monolingual decree by their very composition, and this ultimately allows them to suggest a more inclusive notion of citizenship. Multilingual literature is rooted in a constant linguistic shift and therefore characterized by fluidity and instability. This is manifested in a unique literary form that merges not only languages, but linguistic registers and literary genres. This form also constantly shifts between narrating conventions and even between different fonts, rendering the textual matter itself unstable. Multilingual authors use this instability to undermine the monolithic ideal of the citizen reflected in the traditional monolingual national model.

The tension between national and ethnic identification stands at the center of my peer-reviewed publications. My paper, “A Kibbutz’s Mizrahi” (Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature, 2020) employs the Foucauldian term of “name of the author” to explore Israeli author Amnon Shamosh’s place in and outside of the Israeli literary canon, as an author of Jewish-Syrian descent who often presents himself as the voice of his community. Another paper, A Dark Affair, No Doubt, (Journal of Jewish Ethics, 2017) offers an alternative, psychoanalytic reading, of A.B Yehoshua’s famous short story, Facing the Forests, to decipher the many moments of internal contradictions regarding nationalism and ethics unaccounted for by former literary critiques. My third peer-reviewed paper, “A Non-Peaceful Coexistence”, based on the first two chapters of my dissertation, has won the ACLA’s Aldridge Prize, and appeared in Comparative Literature Studies in 2022. It compares bilingual literary journals Souffles-Anfas (Morocco, 1966-1971) and Eked Poetry Quarterly (Israel, 1960-1971), and showcases their divergent poetic languages yet shared anti-establishment bilingual agenda. I am currently working on a fourth paper titled “On Bilingualism in Translation” which discusses the challenges and possibilities in translating a bilingual text.

Grants and awards

2021 - Marion C. Sheridan Fellow, Yale University
2021- A. Owen Aldridge Essay Prize, American Comparative Literature Association
2018- Thomas H. and Luther Fuller Fellow, Yale University
2017- The Maurice Amado Foundation Travel Grant
2017- Frederick P. Rose Fellow, Yale University
2016- Irene B. & Charles B. Jacobs Travel Fellowship, Yale University
2016 - The Judaic Studies Program Grant for Language Study abroad, Yale University
2014- Pozis Grant for outstanding research students, Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University
2014-  Yaffe Grant for outstanding research students, Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University 
2014 - Porter Institute travel grant for international conferences
2013 - Pozis Grant for outstanding research students, Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University
2011 - Memorial Grant for outstanding undergraduate students, Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University
2011 - Dean's Honors list, Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University
2009- Tel Aviv University Grant for outstanding candidates         

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, May 2023
MPhil., Comparative Literature, December 2017

Dissertation title: “Speaking Sovereignty: The Plight of Multilingual Literature in Independent Israel, Morocco and Algeria”

M.A, summa cum laude, Department of Literature, 2015

Master’s Thesis title: “The indestructible family, assembled round a table”: Ideology and Identity Formation in the Jewish-Levantine Family Novel  

B.A, magna cum laude, The Marc Rich Honors Program in the Humanities and Arts, 2012

Selected publications

“2021 A. Owen Aldridge Prize Winner: ‘A Nonpeaceful Coexistence’: The Plight of 1960s Bilingual Literary Journals in Morocco and Israel.” Comparative Literature Studies 59, no. 2 (2022): 185-216. muse.jhu.edu/article/856629. 

“‘A Dark Affair, No Doubt’: Perversion and Self-Victimizing in A. B. Yehoshua’s Facing the Forests.” Journal of Jewish Ethics 3, no. 2 (2017): 221–46. https://doi.org/10.5325/jjewiethi.3.2.0221.

A Kibbutz’s Mizrahi: Amnon Shamosh and the Israeli Consensus. Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature. Vol. 31 (2020): 341-381. [in Hebrew]

Literary Publications
“Go Live with the Arabs,” CRAFT Literary (March 2021) Nominated for the 2022 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

“Shirim”, (Hebrew) Ma’ayan Magazine (2020) https://maayanmagazine.com/filter/maayan/15

“O’da Le’homer Bidud” (Hebrew) Ma’ayan Magazine (2019)  https://www⁠.maayanmagazine.com/14        

University lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies

No relevant ancillary activities

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