Alon Confino

Biography and/or project

I grew up in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and UC Berkeley. I am broadly interested in the theory and practice of writing history displayed in particular in the topics of memory, culture, and nationhood. My work has often taken modern German history as a point of departure, yet has consistently cast its net wider. As a historian, I have sought to reach in my 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 my writing over the years, I have sought to craft a narrative weaving together story telling with critical analysis. But in recent years I have been particularly interested in probing into different possibilities of historical narration. In the last few years I 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, which explores the German sensibilities in the Third Reich that underlie the persecution and extermination of the Jews, making them conceivable and imaginable.  This book is slated for publication by Yale University Press. I am also working now, with an eye to the future, on 1948 in Palestine.