Irit Dekel joined the Department of Germanic Studies and the Jewish Studies Program in the Spring of 2020. She recently published a chapter in Rebuilding Jewish Life in Germany (Rutgers University Press) entitled "You are My Liberty: On the Negotiation of Holocaust and Other Memories for Israelis in Berlin." This year also saw her co-authored article "Circumcising the Body: Negotiating Difference and Belonging in Germany" published in National Identities. Her article, written with Esra Özyürek, "Perfides Ablenkungsmanöver" [Perfidious Subversion Tactics"] appeared in Die Zeit Online on July 10, 2020. Dekel researches Holocaust memory and the presentation and experience of Jews in Germany. She co-edits and contribute an article to The Handbook on Memory Activism, the first such work on this topic. For her next book, as well as in articles, she studies the inter-relations between witnessing and subject positions for Jews and other minorities in the German society.
Dekel brought her research to important interdisciplinary platforms: she led a masterclass on audience research at the 2019 annual meeting of the Memory Studies Association and delivered an invited lecture to a conference on "The Future of Memory" (Goethe Universität, Frankfurt). She co-organized panels for the annual meetings of both the AJS and the German Studies Association where she will present her work on philosemitism in Germany. In spring 2020, Dekel taught a graduate course on social memory studies and began work with graduate students interested in collective memory in Israel, the US, and Germany. This fall, she is teaching a new course: "Jews in the Media: The Production and Experience of a Minority." She delivered an invited lecture titled "Memory, and the Imperative to Remember the Holocaust in Israel" at the international conference "The Future of Remembrance: Memory Culture and Societal Responsibility," jointly organized by the Martin Buber Institute for Jewish Philosophy and Religion; Goethe Universität, Frankfurt; the Central Council of Jews in Germany; the Institute for Christian-Jewish Studies and Relations at the Augustana-Hochschule Neuendettelsau; the Theological Seminary at the Lutheran Church in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria; Fritz-Bauer-Institute; and The Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main.