Faculty Feature: Dr. Daniel Uziel

PassphotoWe are very excited to be welcoming Dr. Daniel Uziel to our faculty this Fall.  Dr. Uziel studied history and international relations in the Hebrew University and in the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg.  He is interested in modern German history, military history, history and technology and culinary history.  He has published books about German military propaganda and about the German aviation industry in WWII. Dr. Uziel is currently working on books dealing with aerial warfare over Mandatory Palestine in WWII and about slave labor in the German aviation industry. He has worked as a researcher, among others, for the German Foreign Office, the IAF Historical Branch, the IAF Museum and the Paraflight Aviation Gallery. Researches and teaches in Yad Vashem. Partner in the Shpondra culinary blog.  Next semester he will be teaching “A World at War: History of the Second World War.”  He descirbes the course, saying:

“Although almost 70 years have passed since the end of WWII, its history still evokes much scholarly and public interest. Its history is also still relevant to the understanding of current events – for instance, the latest conflict in the Ukraine.

We know today much more about WWII then we knew in 1970.  New primary sources, new approaches and new research methodologies contributed to the changing history of the largest war in history. It may surprise some that despite massive research, information about some wartime events is still lacking. We still have only sparse details about some key Soviet intelligence operations, like the Lucy spy ring.

This year’s course is intended primarily to provide students with a historical overview of the war, based on modern research.

Another goal of this course is to expose the students to modern research approaches and to relevant primary sources. Among others, we will deal with modern military history and its methodologies. While in the past military history tended to deal mostly with battles, weapons and generals, today it examines cultural, economic, mental and gender aspects of war and the military. Social oriented researches are one example of these new military histories. Although social histories of the German army are quite popular, in this course we will also discuss a ground-breaking social-historical research of the 1st US Marine Division in the Pacific in order to understand the essence of the war against Japan.

Grass-root histories contributed immensely to the modern historiography of WWII. For example, we are interested in patterns of consumption during the war. What did soldiers eat and drink? How did working women spend the money they earned (in many cases for the first time in their life)? Howdid  people amuse themselves?

Science and technology stand in the middle of many new researches. Unlike in the past, today’s scholars are interested in the broad applications and implications of scientific research and technology. Like how the introduction of the modern conveyor belt based production lines influenced the manpower employed in the war industries, or how German visions of the postwar era are reflected in German wartime civilian aviation R&D. In what ways have new technologies influenced wartime mass-media and thus mentality?

Popular culture is also an important field of research, shedding light not only on wartime societies and armies, but also on the way WWII is being remembered and commemorated. The postwar image of the German U-Boats, for example, emerged already during WWII through the use of different media of popular culture. The trend continued after the war using the same means. The image of the Soviet Union in WWII in the west in the late 1970s has changed significantly not because of scholarly research, but because of a popular American TV documentary series (The Unknown War, 1978). Even western popular music helped to change this image, with songs like Roads to Moscow (Al Stewart, 1974) and Red Army Blues (The Water Boys, 1984).

The battles of the memory of WWII are therefore a central theme of this course. We will deal with the way postwar politics, new media and changing mentalities influenced the image and history of WWII.”

Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/


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