Joseph Benatov

Associate Director, Jewish Studies Program
Director, Modern Hebrew Language Program; Lecturer in Foreign Languages, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
708 Williams Hall

Joseph Benatov is the Coordinator of the Modern Hebrew Language Program; Lecturer in Foreign Languages, as well as the Associate Director, of the Jewish Studies Program. He holds a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is titled “Looking in the Iron Mirror: Eastern Europe in the American Imaginary, 1958-2001.” He has also written on Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth’s early fiction; the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain; and competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. Dr. Benatov is the English translator of the contemporary Bulgarian novel Zift (Paul Dry Books). He has also translated Israeli poetry, prose, and drama. His translations of plays by Hanoch Levin, Martin McDonagh, and Ethan Coen were all staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Dr. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in Bulgaria and on the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe (University of Nebraska Press). He teaches Hebrew courses of all levels.

Courses Taught: 
  • HEBR 053: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
  • HEBR 054: Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
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