Chen Bar-Itzhak is a postdoctoral researcher in Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature. She is interested in the literary representations of cities and in the ways in which urban space interacts with language, memory and ideology in literary texts. Her forthcoming book, based on her prize-winning dissertation, develops a new theoretical model for the study of literary cities, and explores the city of Haifa in the Israeli literary imagination through a study of over 50 works of fiction. Her other published/forthcoming works address the complex relations between space, memory, language and ideology in Israeli literature and culture, the contact zones between Hebrew and Arabic fiction, and theoretical issues in world literature.
She is currently working on a book-length study on Retrotopia in contemporary Israeli culture. This project analyzes expressions of nostalgia for the British Mandate in literature, theater, street art, exhibitions and online groups. The project asks why these nostalgic narratives emerge at this specific socio-historical moment, examines different forms of nostalgic narratives and highlights the critical potential of nostalgia.
Chen is also the executive editor of Stanford's Dibur Literary Journal and a board member of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS). Before coming to Stanford she was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the University of Oxford.

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Intellectual Captivity: Literary Theory, World Literature, and the Ethics of Interpretation Journal of World Literature Bar-Itzhak, C. 2019
  • Literary Multilingualism: Representation, Form, Interpretation Dibur Literary Journal Bar-Itzhak, C. 2019; 7
  • The Dissolution of Utopia: Literary Representations of the City of Haifa, between Herzl's Altneuland to Later Israeli Works Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas Bar-Itzhak, C. 2016; 14 (2): 323-341

    View details for DOI 10.1353/pan.2016.0014

  • The Poetics of De-Othering: Sami Michael's Early Haifa Novels Prince and Revolutionary: Readings in Sami Michael's Proze Bar-Itzhak, C. Heksherim Institute and Gama Press. 2016