Gila O Safran Naveh , Ph.D.
Professor, Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair, Judaic Studies
Professor Gila Safran-Naveh received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at San Diego, where she received a highly interdisciplinary formation, and one of her undergraduate degrees from The Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is now Department Head and the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Chair in Judaic Studies, at University of Cincinnati. Her primary scholarly interests are the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Critical Theory, Freud and Judaism, Kafka, and Gender and Judaism.
Professor Safran-Naveh is author of a pivotal study on parables entitled Biblical Parables and Their Modern Recreations: from Apples of Gold in Silver Settings to Imperial Messages (2000) which was nominated for the 2001 National Jewish Book Award in the scholarly division.
She has co-edited a comprehensive volume in linguistic studies entitled The Formal Complexity of Natural Language (1987).
Presently, she is working on a book-length manuscript entitled Unpacking the Heart with Words: Women Survivors of the Holocaust Writing and Healing. This work investigates problems in memory, writing, healing, and women's unique experience in the Holocaust.
Professor Safran Naveh has also completed a book of poetry entitled Another Door: A Woman's Inquisitions and is preparing it for press.
Professor Safran-Naveh has published book chapters (in Semiotics, Jewish Literary Studies, Film and Cultural Studies) and numerous scholarly articles and book reviews. She lectures nationally and internationally and serves on national and international committees promoting human rights and the advancement of women.
Professor Safran Naveh has organized and brought to Cincinnati two International Conferences of Semiotic Society of America (in 1988 and in 2010). Among her most popular courses are Literature of the Holocaust, Jewish/Women's Humor, Freud and Judaism, Jews in Film, American Jewish Fiction, and Salon Culture. For her outstanding teaching, Professor Safran Naveh was awarded the University A. B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching (1996), the Edith Alexander Award for Outstanding Teaching (2000), and the prestigious George C. Barbour Award (2006). In 2010, she was elected Fellow of the Academy for Teaching and Learning. The recipient of numerous research and travel grants, Professor Safran-Naveh was awarded the prestigious Skirball Fellowship in Hebrew and Judaica, at the Oxford Center for Postgraduate Jewish Studies (1997). She is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Center and serves on the board of several scholarly journals. Since 2010, Professor Safran Naveh spearheaded the launching of the Center for Jewish Cultures and Ideas, transformed Judaic Studies into a full-fledged Taft Department, and created a Joint UC- HUC Graduate Program in Judaic Studies, which is housed in the Judaic Studies Department. Presently, in addition to her regular duties, Professor Safran Naveh serves on the boards of the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute and the Rockwern Academy.
Ph.D.: University of California San Diego 1981 (Comparative Literature)
Ph.D. C. : University of California San Diego, 1979 (Linguistics and Comparative Litarature)
M.A.: San Diego State University 1974 (Comparative Literature)
B.A.: San Diego State University 1973 (French, Russian, and Hebrew Language and Literature)
B.A.: The Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel, 1969 (Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Studies )
Positions and Work Experience
2008 -To Present Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Professor of Judaic Studies and Department Chair, University of Cincinnati,
1999 -2008 Professor of Judaic Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati,
1993 -1999 Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati,
1986 -1993 Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati,
1978 -1986 Visiting Assistant Professor of Language Acquistion and Literature, University of Cincinnati,
1973 -1978 Associate in Comparative Literature, University of California San Diego,
1973 -1973 Lecturer in Classics, Oriental Languages, and Judaic Studies, San Diego State University,
1969 -1973 Instructor of Language and Linguistics, San Diego College of Judaism,
2009 -2019 Department Head - Judiac Studies, Univerity of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
“From Biblical Quotations to Ethical Quest: A Semiotic Perspective on S.Y.Agnon’s Short Stories.” in Frontiers in Semiotics. Ed. John Deely, (In Press).
“‘A Speck of Dust Blown by Wind across Land and Desert’: Images of Survivors in Singer, Applefeld, and Kosinski.” In American and Holocaust Literature, Ed. Gloria Cronin, SUNY Press, 2004.
“Culture as Education: A Semiotic Reading of Stories by Former Prisoners of Piteshti,” in Cultural Shaping of Violence. Ed. Mydrene Anderson, Purdue University Press, 2004.
Peer Reviewed Publications
"From Performance to New Perception and Empowerment: Jewish Salons”, Eds. Karen Haworth, Jason Hogue, and Leonard Sbrocci, Semiotics, 2012, New York Toronto, Ottawa: LEGAS, pp. 72-82.
"Urban Space as an Impenetrable Network of Signs”, Ed. Gloria Whitalm,TRANS-Studies in Semiotics, vol. XIII, Spring 2011, pp. 203-227.
“Writing and Healing: Women’s Narratives about Their Experience in the Holocaust,” in Semiotics, Eds. John Deely and Leonard Sbrocchi, vol. XXXXVI, Fall 2009, 403-419.
Four Entries in The American Jewish Literature Anthology; editors (Alan Berger and Gloria Cronin): and four essays: Melvin Bukiet, Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers, and After, 2008.
"Politics of Representation and Remembrance: The Holocaust in Film and Fiction,” in Semiotics, Fall, 2007, 315-338.
"Glimmerings of the Gallows: Film and Fiction of the Holocaust,” in The Thomas Jefferson School of Law Review, Winter, 2006, pp 29-42.
"A Self-Psychological Reading of the Biblical Tamar,” in the Progress Self-Psychology, Fall 2000.
"The City as Text and Textuality in Calvino’s Cities and Signs,” Semiotics, Vol. 19, Fall 1999, pp. 121-132.
"Flatow," Cincinnati Judaica Review, vol. 5, 103, Spring, 1998.
"Between Scylla and Carbides: Creative Minds on ‘Happy’ Drugs,” in Semiotics, Fall, 1998, Vol. 18, 131-138.
"Tamar’s Restoration of the Self”, Semiotics, Vol. IX, 1998, pp. 86-99.
"MeMahazor HaGouf LeShikkum ‘HaAtzmi’: Iyun bidmut Ha’Keddeshah’ BePetah Einayim" (From the Circulation of the Body to the restoration of the Self,” in Hebrew), HaDoar, June, 1998, 13-21.
"A Semiotic Reading of Narratives by Former Pitheshti Political Prisoners and Therapists: 'Re-educating' and Other Codes”, inSemiotics, ed. William Spinks, spring, 1995, Vol. 15, 450-463.
"Don't Torture Yourself, This Is My Job, Women and Violence in films: Reflections on The Adams Family," in Semiotics. Eds. John Deely and M. Corrington, University Press of America: Lanham, New York, London, Vol. XV, 1995, 133-145.
"Yiddish in Translation: A Course in Cultural Studies," in CincinnatiJudaica Review, Spring, 1995, Vol. 5, 63-70.
"Meine mameh zitzt fartracht" (poem in Yiddish), in Cincinnati Judaica Review, vol. 4, 107, Spring, 1994.
"To Know Women: Ethics and Politics of Sexual Difference Reflected in Contemporary Israeli Literature," in CincinnatiJudaica Review, vol. IV, Spring, 1994, 57-70.
"Semiotic Considerations of the 'Passion' Shame," in Semiotics, Ed. John Deely, University Press of America: Lanham, New York, London, 1993, 40-49.
"The Challenges of Academic Freedom and Tenure", in White Papers, vol. 1, issue 1, 3-7, October, 1993.
"Understanding an Interview with a Manic Patient: Choices of Delusional Objects and Their Linguistic Expression," in Semiotics, Eds. John Deely and M. Corrington, University Press of America: Lanham, New York, London, 1993, 123-135.
"Elements of Anti-Utopia and Dystopia and Zamyatin's We," Semiotics, Vol. 9. Eds. Terry Prewitt and John Deely, Spring, 1992, 127-132.
"The Cannibal Galaxy: Cynthia Ozick's Feminist View of Education," CincinnatiJudaica Review, (Spring) 1991: 76-81.
"Semiotic Considerations of an Imperial Message: Truth and Chronotopicity in Kafka's Parable," Semiotics, 8 Eds. Terry Prewitt and John Deely (1989): 165-175.
"Hebrew Language Production by American Students of Hebrew at University Level," Journal for Hebrew Higher Education 2, 2 (1988): 11-19.
"Ideological Aesthetics and Meta-Modalization: Semiotics of Descartes' Passions of the Soul" --long version containing all the linguistic formulae, American Journal of Semiotics 6, 5 (November 1988): 479-491.
"Let Words Drop: Women and the Hermeneutics of Silence," Forum 13, no. 3/4 (Spring/Summer) 1987: 1, 15-19.
"Ideological Aesthetics and Meta-Modalization: Semiotics of Descartes' Passions of The Soul (Developments in Philosophy; version without the mathematics), Semiotics Eds. Terry Prewitt and John Deely, (1986): 306-317.
"Women and the Hermeneutics of Silence," the unabridged version, Annual for Rumanian Studies 2, 1986, p. 39-61.
Utopia in Zion, R. Roussell, for The Journal of Utopian Studies, 2004.
Between Exile and Return: S.Y.Agnon and the Drama of Writing, by Anne Golomb Hoffman, for CLS (Comparative Literature Studies), vol. 4, 31, Summer 1996.
Between Hope and Doubt: The Story of Utopia, by Lea Hadomi, for Journal of Utopian Studies 3-4, Spring, 1992.
Kibbutz Goshen: A Studyby A.M. Bowes, for The Journal of Utopian Studies 3-4, Spring, 1992.
Kibbutz Goshen, by A. M. Bowes, short version for the Cincinnati Judaica Review, vol. 2, 62-64, Spring, 1992.
Israeli Mythogynies by Esther Fuchs, forThe Journal of Hebrew Studies (January 1988).
Biblical Parables and Their Modern Recreation: From “Apples of Gold in Silver Settings” to “Imperial Messages.” SUNY Press, January 2000.
The Formal Complexity of Natural Language. Eds. Walter Savitch, Gila Safran-Naveh, Emmon Bach and George Marsh. Amsterdam: Reidel Publishing, 1987.
Work in Progress
Unpacking the Heart with Words: Women Survivors of the Holocaust Healing Through Self-Narratives (with advance contract with SUNY Press)
Memory, Witnessing, and Writing: A Study of the Innocents in Hell
(11-03-2012. ) “A Semiotic of Retrospection: The Holocaust and Strategies of Desire in Thayne Rosenbaum’s Elijah Visible and Second hand Smoke” .Annual International Meeting of SSA, Toronto, Canada.
(11-11-2011. ) “Freud and Other Discontents in Slavet’s Work” .Religion and Culture Web Forum, University of Chicago.
(10-21-2011. ) “Perception, Performance and Power: Jewish Women Salons in Germany” .Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, Pittsburgh, PA.
(10-21-2011. ) "Jewish Women Salons Changing History” .Semiotic Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
(08-12-2011. ) "Jewish Ghettoes under Mussolini” . Semiotic Society NE Association, Rome, Italy.
(11-04-2010. ) “Standing together Jews and Christians” .Jewish Community Center Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(08-12-2010. ) “The Role of Judaic Studies at a Public University” .University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
(06-25-2010. ) “Holocaust Legacy at the Center for Holocaust Studies” .ILS, Tel Aviv, Israel.
(06-18-2010. ) “The Other Auschwitz: Transnistria and the New Nazi Geography” .Jerusalem, Israel.
(03-29-2010. ) "Survival through Humor in the Jewish Tradition” .MayersonJewish Community Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(12-16-2009. ) “Salon Kultur” .Global Day of Jewish Learning,
(10-21-2009. ) "Trauma and Abduction: Women Writing about the Holocaust" .Annual International Conference of the Semiotic Society of America, University of Texas, Houston, TX.
(06-27-2009. ) “The State of Semiotics in America” .Sorbonne, Paris, France.
(06-16-2009. ) . “Teaching about Jewish Partisans and Resistance during the Holocaust” .the Center for Holocaust and Humanities Education, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(04-08-2009. ) “Indignation: Phillip Roth’s Belated Writing” .Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Society, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
(03-22-2009. ) “Jewish Women’s Salons: Ushering in Modernity and Forging Identity” .Miami University, Oxford, OH.
(01-28-2009. ) “The Taming of the Shrew: Representations of Death and Dying in Philip Roth’s Current Writing” .Jewish Writers’ Institute AJLA, Boston, MA.
(01-28-2009. ) “Writing and Healing: Women’s Narratives About Their Holocaust Experiences” .Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society, University of Texas, Houston, TX.
(10-12-2008. ) “Meditating on Death and Dying: Philip Roth’s “Indignation” .Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Society, Salt Lake City, UT.
(06-20-2008. ) "'Can We Talk? Jewish Women Comediennes Fighting Hegemony through Humor” .Annual Meeting of the National Women Studies Association, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(04-15-2007. ) "Cynthia Ozick Treading Between the Idiographic and the Nomothetic: On ‘Jewish,’ ‘Jewishness,’ ‘the Holocaust,’ and ‘Representation’” .Jewish and Holocaust Literature Annual Meeting,
(09-28-2006. ) “Signs of Suffering: Representation and Reflections on Semiotics" .Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN.
(04-05-2006. ) “Cynthia Ozick’s Idiographic View on ‘Jewish,’ ‘Jewishness,’ ‘Holocaust,’ and ‘Representation’" .ALA Annual Conference, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
(05-26-2005. ) "Through Different Lenses: The Fiction and Philosophy of Bernard Malamud and “Psychological Ozick's Readings" and "The Holocaust in the Fiction of Cynthia Ozick" .American Literature Association, Boston, MA.
(05-16-2005. ) "Representations of the Holocaust in Film and Fiction, in the session entitled "Surviving Genocide: The Aftermath of the Unimaginable" .The 25th Annual Meeting of the Romance Languages Studies, University of Cincinnati.
(03-12-2005. ) "The Light Side of Jewish Humor" .Hillel at SUNY, Albany, NY.
(03-11-2005. ) "Sholem Aleichem, The Jewish Mark Twain" .Department of English, SUNY, Albany, NY.
(03-09-2005. ) "Ozick's Fiction" .Writers' Institute, Albany, NY.
(01-17-2005. ) "Glimmerings of the Gallows: Film and Fiction of the Holocaust" .International Conference on Holocaust, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations, Law and the Humanities Institute, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California.
(10-16-2004. ) "Inheriting Hermeneutics: Experiencing, Interpreting and Creating in Cynthia Ozick’s Heir" .ALA Annual Conference, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
(03-29-2004. ) “Modern Hebrew Acquisition Issues and Distance Learning” .The Open University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
(02-05-2004. ) “Wit and Wisdom in Parables from the Bible to Kafka” .University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
(12-27-2003. ) "Modern Hebrew Acquisition Issues and Distance Learning” .The Open University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
(10-21-2003. ) “Jews in Translation” .ALA Annual Conference, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.
(05-05-2003. ) “Patemic Memory in Holocaust Survivors’ Narratives” .University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(12-20-2002. ) “Perceptions of Israeli Politics and Their Literary Representations” .WIZO, Tel Aviv, Israel.
(12-16-2002. ) “Jewish Women in the French Resistance” .Centre de Documentation Juive, the Annual Meeting of L’Association des Anciens Resistants, Paris, France.
(12-11-2002. ) “How Literature Remembers” .The Jewish Museum of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
(10-27-2002. ) "The Use of Citation as Ethical Posturing in S.Y. Agnon" .Annual Meeting of the American Literature and Holocaust Studies Association, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
(10-20-2002. ) “From Biblical Quotations to Ethical Quest: A Semiotic Perspective” .Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society, Trinity College, San Antonio, TX.
(04-13-2002. ) . “Women and War: Reading Women, War and Peace” .Interdisciplinary Panel of UC Women Faculty, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(03-05-2002. ) “Engraving the Mind: Holocaust Monuments and Memorials” .Designing Monuments to War and Tragedy Symposium, University of Cincinnati.
(02-12-2001. ) “Woman, Man, Ewe Lamb, Prophet: Revisiting ‘The Rich Man’s Ewe Lamb'" .Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies Lecture, University of Cincinnati.
(10-29-2000. ) “Signs of Suffering: The Encounter of Self-Psychology and Semiotics in Holocaust Film and Fiction” .Semiotics Society Annual Meeting, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
(10-24-2000. ) “Between Memory and Metaphor: Figuring the Holocaust for the Next Generations" .Annual ALA Meeting, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
(05-12-2000. ) “The World and the Mirror in the Short Stories of Jorge Luis Borges” .Twenty- First Annual Romance Languages and Literatures Conference, University of Cincinnati.
(04-09-2000. ) “Achieving Freedom through Humor in Judaism” and “The Art of Speaking in Parables” .The Council on Jewish Learning, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(04-07-2000. ) “Revisiting Biblical Women: Talking with Tamar, the ‘Harlot by the Side of the Road’ and Bathing with Bathsheba, the ‘Poor Man’s Ewe Lamb’” .Women Studies Research Colloquium, University of Cincinnati.
(03-07-2000. ) “Going over to ‘Some Fabulous Yonder,’ or How to Do Things with Parables” .University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
(01-12-2000. ) “Progress in Self Psychology” .Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Cincinnati.
(10-31-1999. ) “Erotic of Retrospection in Thane Rosenthal’s Second Hand Smoke” .American Association of Literature, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
(10-27-1999. ) “Restoring the Self and the ‘Harlot by the Side of the Road’: A Self-Psychological Analysis of the Biblical Story of Tamar" .International Conference of Self-Psychology, Trinity College, San Antonio, TX.
(10-23-1999. ) “’The Law Says’: A Semiotic Reading of the law as a Person” .International Conference of Semiotics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
(04-08-1999. ) “The Cultural Shaping of Violence" .Anthropology and Sociology Colloquium, Purdue University, Indiana.
(03-17-1999. ) “The Value of Jewish Humor" .English and Women Studies, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN.
Honors and Awards
2010 Fellow of the Academy of Teaching and Learning
2006 George C. Barbour All University Award for Promoting Good Student-Faculty Relations
2001 2001 Nominated for the George B. Barbour Award for Promoting Good Student-Faculty Relations
2001 Nominated for the A&S Dean’s Distinguished Research Award
2001 Nominated for the National Teacher of the Year Award, by The Carnegie Association in Support of Excellence
2000 Awarded the Edith C. Alexander Award for Distinguished Teaching
2000 Book, Biblical Parables and Their Modern Re-Creations nominated for the Jewish National Book Award in the Scholarly Books Division
2000 Awarded the Leading Edge Award, for Leading in Teaching Students with Disabilities
2000 Honored at “University of Cincinnati Honors Authors, Editors and Composers”
2000 Nominated for the Charles Pfeltz Taft Professorship
1996 Awarded the University Faculty Achievement Award.
1996 Awarded the A. B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in University Teaching
1996 Nominated for CASE (The Carnegie Association in Support of Excellence)Teacher of the Year Award, New York.
1996 Awarded the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities (GCCCU) Award for Outstanding University Teaching
1996 Appointed Senior Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew and Jewish Studies
1992 -1994 Nominated for the A.B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching
1982 -1983 1982-1983 "Outstanding Woman Award," from the organization Women, the Power Source
15-JUDC-508 FREUD AND JUDAISM Level:Both
15-JUDC-383 LIT OF HOLOCAUST Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-252 INTRO JEWISH LIT Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-550 FILM AND HOLOCAUST Level:Both
15-JUDC-360 AMER JEWSH FICTION Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-314 JEWISH WOMENS SALON Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-374 JEWISH&WOMENS HUMOR Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-333 ADV HEB COMP & CONV Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-371 JEWS IN AMER FILM Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-190 MONUMENTS TO WAR AND TRAGEDY Level:Undergraduate
15-JUDC-381 GENDER AND JUDAISM Level:Both
15-INTERDISCP-796 INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THEORY Level:Graduate
15-JUDC-593 INDIV WORK JUDAICA