Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Makrosoziologie

Dr. Irit Dekel

Dr. Irit Dekel
wiss. Mitarbeiterin
irit.dekel (at)

Einrichtung (OKZ)
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät → Institut für Sozialwissenschaften → Makrosoziologie
Funktion / Sachgebiet
Project leader and coordinator: “Domesticating Cosmopolitanism: a Comparative Study of Historical Home Museums in Germany and Israel”
Ziegelstraße 13c , Raum 128
030 2093-1868


My current project, a comparative ethnographic study of historic home museums in Germany and Israel is supported by the German Israeli Foundation (2014-16) in cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  We ask how personal and history-forming stories intersect in those museums in Germany and Israel so as to shed light on the construction and circulation of knowledge on the idea of home, objects representing homes and peeping into intimate lives in homes of authors, artists, politicians and scientists. We study gender inequality and how it is represented and experienced in and through the home turned into a museum, migration and leaving home, and the construction of atmosphere and the uncanny. We look into visitors’ experience as well as study the exhibitions, the exhibits and their organization.

I further work on ethnic and religious exclusion in Germany as they are reflected through and negotiated around memory work, discussions of Philo and Anti-Semitism and the circumcision debate.



Ph.D. Sociology, New School for Social Research, New York, NY 2008

M.A. Sociology New School for Social Research, New York, NY 2004

M.A Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 2001

B.A. Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 1999


FIELDS OF ACADEMIC INTEREST (in alphabetical order)

 Ethnic relations and exclusion, Ethnography, Gender inequality, Home, Jewish Studies, Memory Studies, Museums, The Sociology of the body, Tourism.



Dekel I. 2013 Mediation at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies Series.

Articles and Book Chapters (refereed)

Dekel, I. and Katriel T. 2015 „Krieg dem Kriege": The Berlin Anti-War-Museum as a Multilayered Site of Memory in Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggle: Powerful Times (Palgrave Macmillan).

Dekel I. 2014 “Jews and Other Others at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin” Anthropological Journal of European Culture Volume 23(2) 71-84.

Dekel, I. 2011. “Mediated Space, Mediated Memory: New Archives at the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin” in Motti Neiger, Oren Meyers and Eyal Zandberg (eds.) On Media Memory. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dekel, I. 2009. “Ways of looking: Observation and transformation at the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin”. Memory Studies 2:1, 71-86.

Dekel, I. 2009. “Pan-topia: Exposing the Palimpsest of Meanings at the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin” History and Theory: The Protocols Bezalel Academy of Art and Design 14.


Dekel, I. 2015. “The Void keeps growing”: Traumatic space in the Transformation of The Peace and Democracy Watch from Elite to an Enclave”. Davidovitch, Zalashik and Alberstein (Eds.) Under the Sign of Trauma: Israeli studies on Identity, Memory and Representation. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University, and Hakibbutz Hameuchad -Sifriat Poalim Publishing Group [Hebrew].

Dekel I. 2016 “Subjects of Memory? Holocaust Memory in two German Historical Museums” Forthcoming in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust Vol. 30.

In preparation

Dekel I. “Projecting the Common Dimensions of Experience: Objects Career in Historic Home Museums”

Dekel I. and Forchtner B. and Efe I. “Circumcising the Body: reflections on the debate in Germany, Turkey and Israel.

Dekel I. Philo-Semitism as Routine Accomplishment: Holocaust memory and Xenophobia in Germany