Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

“Zionism: An Emotional State”: Book Talk with Prof. Derek Penslar

February 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Wednesday, February 7th at 12 PM Eastern / 9 AM Pacific
Virtual event — Register below to receive Zoom link

On February 7th, join us for a book talk with NIFC Advisory Council member Professor Derek J. Penslar. Professor Penslar will speak about his newest book, Zionism: An Emotional State.

About the book: Emotion lies at the heart of all national movements, and Zionism is no exception. For those who identify as Zionist, the word connotes liberation and redemption, uniqueness and vulnerability. Yet for many, Zionism is a source of distaste if not disgust, and those who reject it are no less passionate than those who embrace it. The power of such emotions helps explain why a word originally associated with territorial aspiration has survived so many years after the establishment of the Israeli state.

Zionism: An Emotional State expertly demonstrates how the energy propelling the Zionist project originates from bundles of feeling whose elements have varied in volume, intensity, and durability across space and time. Beginning with an original typology of Zionism and a new take on its relationship to colonialism, Penslar then examines the emotions that have shaped Zionist sensibilities and practices over the course of the movement’s history. The resulting portrait of Zionism reconfigures how we understand Jewish identity amidst continuing debates on the role of nationalism in the modern world.

Get your copy of the book through Indigo and Amazon.

About the author:

Prof. Derek Penslar is William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History at Harvard. He approaches modern Jewish history from a transnational and global perspective. His work encompasses the history of the Jews in modern West and Central Europe, North America, and Palestine/Israel. He is particularly interested in the relationship between modern Israel and diaspora Jewish societies, global nationalist movements, European colonialism, and post-colonial states. Penslar has taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, the University of Toronto, and Oxford University, where he served as the inaugural Stanley Lewis Professor of Modern Israel Studies from 2012 until 2016. He co-edits (with Anita Shapira) The Journal of Israeli History and serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Jewish Studies, Jewish Social Studies, and Israel Studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Academy for Jewish Research.


Maytal Kowalski is a Canadian-Israeli digital marketing and fundraising strategist, with over 10 years experience working with non-profits and charities within Canada and the US. She began her career as the Production Coordinator for the Al Green Theatre in the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto, has worked for The Second City, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Thomas Ltd, and is now the Manager of Marketing Strategy at Vancouver Foundation. Maytal is also the co-founder of Press Pause Collective, a fundraising and marketing consulting collective, focusing on inclusive and equitable practices within the field. Clients include Cycle Toronto, Heart to Heart, and JQT Vancouver. In addition to her expertise in marketing and fundraising, Maytal is a classically trained dancer, circus performer, dog foster-parent, and pet mom to Sydney the cat and Pezmo the dog.



February 7
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category: