Nili Gold

Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew Language & Literature
707 Williams Hall
(215) 573-5312

Nili Gold’s study of Hebrew and Israeli literature and culture combines psychoanalytic, biographical, and historical approaches. Her later work is informed by diasporic studies and deals with questions of multilingualism and immigration. Her most recent work expands to encompass various aspects of urban studies. Gold’s first book, Lo KabroshGilgule Imagim Ve-tavniyot Be-shirat Yehuda Amichai (Not Like a Cypress: Transformations of Images and Structures in the Poetry of Yehuda Amichai [Schocken, 1994]), won the Award for the Best First Book in Hebrew Literature from the Ministry of Science and Culture of the State of Israel. Her second book, entitled Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel's National Poet (UPNE 2008), won the 2007 Lucius Littauer Foundation Publishing Award and the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) publication grant for 2008. Her third book, Haifa: City of Steps (UPNE), which appeared in the fall of 2017, creates uniquely hybridic genre of city-writing. It stands at the nexus of literature, architecture, urban planning and history, as well as public and personal memory. Hebrew editions of the last two books are forthcoming in the next year. Gold has alsopublished numerous articles in American, European and Israeli academic journals on essential questions in Hebrew literature as well as on a wide range of Modern and Postmodern Hebrew and Israeli authors. Her articles have been published in Criticism & InterpretationHebrew Studies; Jewish Studies Quarterly; Mikan (BGU); and Prooftexts; among others. 


Research Interests: 

Dr. Gold combines psychoanalytic, biographical and cultural-historical approaches in the study of Hebrew and Israeli literature. Her research extends to Diasporic Studies, questions of immigration, and multilingualism.

Dr. Gold has published many articles in American, Israeli, and European academic journals and collections. Her first book was Not Like a Cypress: Transformations of Images and Structures in the Poetry of Yehuda Amichai [Schocken, 1994, in Hebrew], which won the Award for the Best First Book in Hebrew Literature from the Ministry of Science and Culture of the State of Israel. Much of her scholarly effort has been devoted to her psychoanalytically-motivated 'Mother Tongue' project on authors who write in their second language. In 2008, she published Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel's National Poet (University Press of New England/ Brandeis), a critical biography of the great Israeli poet. Currently, she is at work on a book on the literary image of Haifa and its architecture.

Courses Taught: 

Dr. Gold is a great believer in the Socratic Method (e.g. learning through discussion rather than through lectures). She offers two courses each semester: a seminar in Modern Hebrew literature and a course in Israeli literature and film in translation. Every spring, she coordinates and co-teaches Modern Middle Eastern Literatures in Translation. 

Dr. Gold has hosted Israeli writers, translators and filmmakers at Penn and has planned various cultural events and film festivals on campus, including two International Scholars Conferences, in 2004 on Amos Oz, and in 2011 on Aharon Appelfeld, both with the authors in residence. 

Courses Taught (specific content varies—see website for details):  

• Modern Hebrew Literature and Culture in Translation (NELC 159)

• Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature (HEBR 259/559)

• Seminar in Modern Hebrew Literature (HEBR 359/659)

• Modern Middle Eastern Literature in Translation (NELC 201)

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu