Doctoral Research

Since its foundation, the Institute of Jewish Studies offers two young scholars the possibility to conduct their doctoral research within the context of the Institute.

Current projects:

As the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, Michael Portal will spend the 2022-2023 academic year conducting interdisciplinary research at the University of Antwerp. His research concerns the Flemish emphasis on samenleven (“living together”) and its significance for Antwerp’s Jewish communities.

Adam Sax conducts research at the Institute of Jewish Studies in academic year 2021-2022 as part of a Joint PhD with the University of Pennsylvania. During his research stay at the Institute, Adam will produce a dissertation chapter on elegy in the late-work of the twentieth century German-language poet, Paul Celan.

Thomas Froy’s research is concerned with the notion of dwelling. Focusing on three essential questions – why does dwelling remain necessary?; what is the experience of dwelling?, and what is the space of dwelling? – he reads the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida and Martin Buber in order to understand what it means to dwell today.

Dennis Baert's project is entitled 'Es muss noch etwas mehr geben als - Mich und Dich'. Franz Rosenzweig and the Problem of Political Theology in Jewish Dialogical Philosophy and looks at the way the Jewish Dialogical thinkers have dealt with the triad of State, Nation and Law within their respective religions of philosophy and theological thinking. It furthermore seeks to explore how their thinking on these questions can be made relevant and fertile today by drawing upon more recent developments in (both Jewish and non-Jewish) philosophy and theology.

Hans van Nes' project is entitled Arba'ah Ve-Esrim: Paratext and Context in the Rabbinic Bibles (1517-1525) and consists of a thorough, systematic exploration of the Rabbinic Bibles on the basis of paratextual elements.

Annelies Augustyns' project is entitled German-Jewish Urban Experience in the Third Reich: Heterotopia in Breslau Life Writing. In this project she examines from a literary perspective the textual representation of National Socialist urban space and everyday urban experience in German-Jewish autobiographical literature.

Sebastian Müngersdorff's project is entitled Narrative Estrangement? From Kafka and Blanchot Towards a Critical Theory of Culture. It focuses on the notion of alienation and estrangement in the work of the Jewish author Franz Kafka and the French essayist, writer and philosopher Maurice Blanchot.

Sam Shuman is visiting research student at the Institute of Jewish Studies in the period 2017-2019 with a project entitled Cutting out the Middleman: A Hasidic Enclave in Economic Transition.

Anneleen Van Hertbruggen's project is entitled 'Des deutschen Dichters Sendung': The collective symbolism and rhetorical structure of political religion in the poetry of the Junge Mannschaft. (1933-1938). This research project aims to contribute to the understanding of the rhetorical structure and collective symbolism of political-religious discourse in the Nazi-biased poetry of the literary group Junge Mannschaft (1933-1945).